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Mister Pulitzer and the SpiderModern News from Realism to the Digital$
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Kevin G. Barnhurst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040184

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040184.001.0001

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Local Lost Ground to Distant News

Local Lost Ground to Distant News

(p.111) Chapter 10 Local Lost Ground to Distant News
Mister Pulitzer and the Spider

Kevin G. Barnhurst

University of Illinois Press

This chapter considers the claim that that news from outside the United States has been declining. For over a century, prominent figures have been describing the citizenry as ill informed, especially about geography, and not merely inattentive but lazy or too stubborn to change. Former Sunday New York Times Editor Lester Markel, after a year of studying what he called the global challenge to the United States in the mid 1970s, concluded that “the public has scant information” and “makes little effort to understand.” After leading panel discussions with press, academic, and government experts and conducting interviews and surveys, he reported that prominent figures ranging from pollster George Gallup to Times editor C. L. Sulzberger were in consensus: people knew little about distant places. Not much has changed in the ensuing years. And as online access to information grew, the Columbia Journalism Review noted that “the American public is no better informed.”

Keywords:   news reporting, foreign news, news events, American public, current events

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