Ownership of Newspapers: The View from Positivist Social Science

A paper by C. Edwin Baker, fall 1992 fellow, analyzes the claim that concentration in media ownership has mostly objectionable effects on the media produced. Baker finds numerous flaws in the methodology of the research published on this topic, and…

TV Violence, Children and the Press: Eight Rationales Inhibiting Public Policy Debates

A paper by Sissela Bok, spring 1993 fellow, applies the perspective of philosopher and social critic to analyze public policy debates in the press about violent television. Bok exposes the weaknesses of eight common arguments: 1. America has always been…

Two Commanders-in-Chief: Free Expression’s Most Severe Test

A paper by Betty Houchin Winfield, spring 1991 fellow, examines free speech and press freedom in the U.S. during wartime. If wartime governments are more autocratic, writes Winfield, then it is assumed that presidents will take a more authoritative stance…

The American Pattern of Freedom of the Press: A Model to Follow?

A paper by Santiago Sanchez Gonzalez, fall 1991 fellow, takes a close look at press freedom as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Gonzalez argues that freedom of the press is as much about freedom to as about freedom from, and…

An Economic Theory of Learning from News

A paper by Marion Just, professor at Wellesley College; W. Russell Neuman, professor at University of Michigan; and  Ann Crigler, fall 1991 fellow, explores an economic approach to understanding how people select, pay attention to, and learn from news stories….

Turmoil at Tiananmen: A Study of U.S. Press Coverage of the Beijing Spring of 1989

This report by the Shorenstein Center explores the U.S. media coverage of the 1989 Beijing Spring. Although the U.S. was not directly involved in the events that took place, media coverage made Americans deeply involved in them. Among the “firsts”…

Campaign Lessons for ’92

This Shorenstein Center report examines media coverage of the 1988 presidential election and proposes recommendations for campaign coverage moving forward. In the aftermath of the 1988 election, Republicans wondered how the personal background of  vice presidential candidate Dan Quayle could,…

The Media in Europe After 1992: A Case Study of La Repubblica

A paper by Sylvia Poggioli, fall 1990 fellow, focuses on media consolidation in Italy in the early 1990s. For most of its history the Italian press was a “politically-subsidized” institution, writes Poggioli, with Italian newspapers often representing political parties or…

The Russian and Soviet Press: A Long Journey from Suppression to Freedom via Suppression and Glasnost

A paper by Alexander Merkushev, fall 1990 fellow, traces the history of press freedom in Russia from the rule of the Czars in the 17th century to the end of the Cold War under Gorbachev. Merkushev details how the Russian…

Different Strokes: Public Broadcasting in America and Australia

A paper by Glyn Davis, fall 1988 fellow, compares the United States’ decentralized public broadcasting system to its Australian counterpart, which was built on the British government monopoly model. Starting with a historical analysis of how the two different systems…