From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News

ISBN: 9781594515545
Publisher: Routledge
Edition: 1
Publication Date: 2009-08-15
Number of pages: 224
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With increasing numbers of people tuning out the nightly news and media consumption falling, late-night comedians have become some of the most important newscasters in the country. From Cronkite to Colbert explains why. It examines a historical path that begins at the height of the network age with Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow--when the evening news was considered the authoritative record of the day's events and forged our assumptions about what "the news" is, or should be. The book then winds its way through the breakdown of the paradigm of "real" news and into its reinvention in the unlikely form of such shows as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. From Cronkite to Colbert makes the case that rather than "fake news," these shows should be understood as a new kind of journalism, one that has the potential to save the news and reinvigorate the conversation on democracy in today's society.

Winner of the 2010 NCA Award for Outstanding Book in Political Communication!


· Uses a tripartite analytical framework for tracking the history of broadcast news from Cronkite to Colbert: high modern, postmodern, and neomodern

· Puts recent media developments in context with intellectual and philosophical history including the writings of Wittgenstein, Bahktin, and Foucault

· Explains the concept and action of "media convergence" clearly and critically

· Looks at the "post network" age in news history and illustrates the problems and possibilities of the era of "digital instability" in which many media platforms--cable, satellite, internet, smart phones, and more--converge to create a new "life after TV"

· Plays with now familiar media images--Ted Koppel's "big head;" Jon Stewart's repetitive clip technique; Stephen Colbert's "The Word" feature--in order to illustrate media postmodernity

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