From colonial newspapers to the Internet age, America’s racial divisions have played a central role in the creation of the country’s media system, just as the media has contributed to—and every so often, combated—racial oppression. This acclaimed book—called a “masterpiece” by the esteemed scholar Robert W. McChesney and chosen as one of 2011’s best books by the Progressive—reveals how racial segregation distorted the information Americans have received, even as it depicts the struggle of Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American journalists who fought to create a vibrant yet little-known alternative, democratic press.
Written in an exciting, story-driven style and replete with memorable portraits of journalists, both famous and obscure, News for All the People is destined to become the standard history of the American media.
“Juan González and Joseph Torres have rendered a splendid public service with this highly readable and engrossing story of how the press sees—and doesn’t see—who we are as a people. Race and ethnicity, power and privilege, the visible and the invisible are at the core of our democratic crisis today, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to face the challenge than to be armed with the story this book tells so well.”—Bill Moyers, Public Affairs Television
“News for All the People is truly a masterpiece; I could not put it down. After years of research, Juan González and Joseph Torres have produced a book that will be nothing short of mandatory reading for all who care about the media or democracy. It will change how you think about media and American history.”—Robert W. McChesney, coauthor of The Death and Life of American Journalism
“A ‘first-of-its-kind’ rendering of the causes, contexts, and consequences of the American media system across the fault line of race. Haunting and prophetic, this is a must-read for all the people.”—Malkia Amala Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice
“With clarity, exquisite detail and strong scholarship, the authors show us how the neglect of the mainstream press over the years still haunts the nation’s identity about who is an American.”—Arlene Notoro Morgan, associate dean at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, coeditor of The Authentic Voice: Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity
“The historic inability of marginalized communities to control their own images has been devastating. News for All the People illustrates that this lack of control hasn’t been by accident. It’s a part of a greater story of media control and ownership that traces back to the creation of the United States. An essential read.”—James Rucker, founder of ColorOfChange.org
“This is journalism history from an entirely fresh perspective, one that challenges the old heroes and shines a sharp light on the role of the media in revealing social inequities in a democratic society.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Meticulously researched, adeptly written, and most important, historically significant ... an important work.”—Buffalo News
“With vivid detail, González and Torres trace the history of minority journalism in the United States from Colonial newspapers to today’s blogs. This important text should be required reading in journalism schools.”—Donna Marie Smith, Library Journal (starred review)
“Examines some of the news media’s dirtiest laundry—the media’s active roles in lynching Blacks, exterminating Native Americans and brutally harassing Hispanics and Asian-Americans ... insightful [and] awareness-expanding.”—Linn Washington Jr., The Philadelphia Tribune
“When journalists write history, there is always the danger of that history being shallow, surface-level. This remarkable book is one of the rare instances of such a problem being a positive, due to its great, realized ambition. For this narrative successfully weaves the history of Black media, Native American media, Hispanic media and Asian media within the context of the history of America’s capitalistic media development. As 2011 ends, Gonzalez and Torres provide not just a clear understanding of how the enemy built the empire, but merge historical ideas on how to use the new/old tools at our disposal to resist it.”—Dr Todd S. Burroughs, Whose Media/Drums in the Global Village
“[This] groundbreaking book takes the reader on a 400-year journey from the past transgressions to today’s democratic crisis, one largely created by the deeds of those controlling the media and the narratives our citizens are actually ‘consuming.’ It delves deeply into why those narratives are slanted, misrepresented or scrubbed altogether by the so-called liberal media.”—Paul K. Haeder, Real Change News
“Offers constant reminders that this conflict has been a true civil war with serious casualties, lasting through many decades and perhaps yet ended. The journalists portrayed here recognized that journalism was a weapon of resistance. If there have been advances, it is in good part because such journalism, bravely wielded, can fight the good fight.”—James Boylan, Columbia Journalism Review
“[An] acclaimed history of race and the US media, which will be a core book for readers in journalism and US history.”—Book News