In 1897, William Randolph Hearst said that his newspaper did not simply cover events that had already happened. "It doesn't wait for things to turn up", Hearst said. "It turns them up." This book traces the close relationship between media and the United States' development from the colonial period to the twenty-first century. It explores how the active voice of citizen-journalists and trained media professionals has turned to media to direct the moral compass of the people and to set the agenda for a nation, and discusses how changes in technology have altered the way in which participatory journalism is practiced. What makes the book powerful is that its assessment of the influence and use of media encompasses many levels: it explores the potential of media as an agent for change from within small communities to the national stage.
The Author: David A. Copeland is the A.J. Fletcher Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the School of Communications at Elon University. He is the author of numerous books on the history of American media and its relationship to society, including The Idea of a Free Press: The Enlightenment and Its Unruly Legacy; The Antebellum Era; Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers; and Colonial American Newspapers: Character and Content. He is the editor of more than twenty other books dealing with media and the nation. Copeland received his Ph.D. in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was named the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Virginia Professor of the Year.