Through the Revolving Door: Blurring the Line between the Press and Government

A paper by Lewis W. Wolfson, spring 1990 fellow, explores the implications when government officials change careers to become journalists. What is the impact on press freedom and public policy? Wolfson conducted 62 interviews, including veterans of the Washington press…

Changing Lanes on the Inside Track: The Career Shuttle Between Journalism, Politics and Government

A paper by James McEnteer, spring 1990 fellow, evaluates the phenomenon of the revolving door between journalism and politics or government. McEnteer challenges the idea that moving from government roles to journalism is always a conflict of interest. Journalists should…

Expanding the Public’s Right to Know: Access to Settlement Records under the First Amendment

A paper by John J. Watkins, spring 1990 fellow, explores a question often confronted by the lower courts: whether the First Amendment right of access extends to settlement agreements and related documents in civil cases. These records are not inconsequential…

Lies in Ink, Truth in Blood: The Role and Impact of the Chinese Media During the Beijing Spring of ‘89

A paper by Linda Jakobson, spring 1990 fellow, focuses on Chinese press coverage of the student-led Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. For this paper, Jakobson interviewed dozens of Chinese journalists, scholars and other observers, read and watched Chinese press coverage,…

Window to the West: How Television from the Federal Republic Influenced Events in East Germany

A paper by Dieter Buhl, spring 1990 fellow, examines how television from West Germany influenced political developments in East Germany in the 1980s. Buhl’s study suggests that television functioned on at least two levels leading up to the fall of…

Sound Bite Democracy: Network Evening News Presidential Campaign Coverage, 1968 and 1988

A paper by Kiku Adatto, fall 1989 fellow, analyzes how televised news coverage of presidential campaigns has changed, and finds that sound bites have been steadily shrinking. The average sound bite, or block of uninterrupted speech, from a presidential candidate…

Tritium and the Times: How the Nuclear Weapons-Production Scandal Became a National Story

A paper by William Lanouette, spring-fall 1988 fellow, provides a case study on the role of the press in nuclear weapons policy. For more than a decade, pieces of a nationwide scandal had surfaced from the vast and sprawling system…

School for Scandal

A speech delivered by author and philosopher Sissela Bok, on March 29, 1990, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, as part of the Shorenstein Center’s conference “School for Scandal: Lessons for the Politicians and the Press.” Bok addresses…

Reflections on Television’s Role in American Presidential Elections

A paper by Lawrence K. Grossman, Visiting Stanton Lecturer, 1987-1988, explores why, despite a high volume of campaign coverage, voter turnout for the 1988 election was at its lowest point since 1924. Grossman argues that the problem is partly television,…

The Politics of Character and the Character of Journalism

A paper by Judith Lichtenberg, visiting assistant professor, spring 1988, asks why “the character question” has assumed such a central role in presidential politics. Lichtenberg analyzes why we place value on and how we measure “moral goodness, strength of will,…