Title

Democracy and the News/The Two W's of Journalism: The Why and What of Public Affairs Reporting/The Roots of Civic Journalism: Darwin, Dewey, and Mead

Department

Communication

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2005

Abstract

The article presents information on three books related to journalism. The books are "Democracy and the News," by Herbert J. Gans, "The Two W's of Journalism: The Why and What of Public Affairs Reporting," by Davis Merritt and Maxwell McCombs and "The Roots of Civic Journalism: Darwin, Dewey, and Mead," by David K. Perry. As Herbert J. Gans points out in his book "Democracy and the News," people knew that they were serving the "public's right to know." Maybe it seemed so apparent that it didn't need discussion. After all free societies have free presses; oppressed societies have Pravda and the worst tyrants imprison, kill, or cut the tongue out of anyone who tries to speak out freely. Of course, that those types of questions might he asked in newsrooms was a sign that journalists were no longer ink-stained wretches. They are now college-educated professionals. However, from the point of view of University of Alabama journalism professor David K. Perry, they are not educated enough. He argues in The Roots of Civic Journalism: Darwin, Dewey, and Mead that their education reverberates from what one writer "called vulgar pragmatism, which rejects all theory and focuses on the facts and practicality."