What’s New at the Journal

Vol 30 Issue 4Winter 2016 Issue

The current issue features John Jenks’ history of how Reuters and Thomson exerted their influence on the media in post-Colonial Africa during the 1960s. Michael Socolow explores three unsuccessful attempts to develop new national broadcasting companies during radio’s first decade. Aaron Phillips examines news coverage of Velma Bronn Johnston, who advocated for the protection of wild horses in the American West. Julie Lane explores the ideological debate that took place on the pages of the National Review and Harper’s between liberals and conservatives over controversial Senator Joseph McCarthy. David Paul Nord writes about his experience with the history of readers and reading.

Teaching Our Journal

With each issue of American Journalism, we feature teaching materials for a particular article and provide free online access to the article (through Taylor & Francis, the publisher of American Journalism).

The teaching materials provide topical overviews and various exercises for teaching the article in either undergraduate or graduate classes. The author of the article creates the teaching exercises and provides links to relevant primary and secondary sources.

We hope these teaching materials and the historical studies they reference will enrich your media history courses and, most importantly, your students’ learning. And we hope you will let us know how you use American Journalism in your classrooms.


“A Nation-wide Chain within 60 Days”: Radio Network Failure in Early American Broadcasting

Volume 33, Number 1, 2016

By Michael J. Socolow, University of Maine

Primary sources are the building blocks of history. They allow historians to weave together coherent narrative from materials that are rarely accessed and often unknown. In this essay I will explain how I used primary sources to reconstruct two separate failed attempts to build national radio networks by Samuel Insull, one of the wealthiest men in American history. I tell the full story of Insull’s failures in my American Journalism article, “‘A Nation-wide Chain within 60 Days’: Radio Network Failure in Early American Broadcasting.” In that article, I tell Insull’s story to illustrate the very limited opportunities to develop a national radio network in the United States in 1920s and 1930s. Read more.