CONTACT: Matthew Nehmer
April 11, 2000

(202) 994-6467

List Compiled by Editors of JMCQ, a Scholarly Journal Housed at GW

WASHINGTON -- What journalism and communication books have left a lasting imprint? Which are classics and should be read by each incoming class of journalism and communication students? Such questions were addressed by editors of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, who have compiled a list of the most significant journalism and communication books of the last century.

Books making the list include Walter Lippmann's "Public Opinion;" Woodward and Bernstein's "All the President's Men;" "Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek and Time" by Herbert Gans; Gaye Tuchman's "Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality;" and "The Medium is the Message" by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore.

In compiling this list, JMCQ's editor, Jean Folkerts, director of GW's School of Media and Public Affairs, invited members of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to nominate books. Meanwhile, JMCQ's book review editor, Paula M. Poindexter, sent letters to previous reviewers requesting nominations. In the end, Folkerts, Poindexter, and a selection committee compiled this feedback and selected books for the final list.

"The list reflects the diversity of the field of journalism and mass communication," writes Folkerts and Poindexter. "Academic and professional perspectives are represented. The list also reveals that no one approach dominates the field. Investigative journalism and case studies, historical research and quantitative studies, research syntheses and opinion essays, and commission reports and compilations are included on the list. In evaluating books, we did not attempt to establish an arbitrary top ten or twenty, but rather to ask, 'What books published during the twentieth century deserve a prominent place in a twenty-first century library?'"

Since it was first established in 1924 as The Journalism Bulletin, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly has emerged as the premier scholarly journal in the field. To date, it has reviewed over 5,000 books and announced the publication of another 30,000 titles. Housed at GW since 1992, Folkerts is serving her third term as editor. For more information about this list or JMCQ, please contact Katherine Huang at (202) 994-4672 or

Significant Journalism and Communication Books of the Twentieth Century

Compiled by Editors of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

The list is presented alphabetically.

All the President's Men, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974.

The Bias Of Communication, Harold Adams Innis, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1951.

Content Analysis for the Social Sciences and Humanities, Ole R. Holsti, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1969.

Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek and Time, Herbert. J. Gans, New York : Pantheon Books, 1979.

Diffusion of Innovations, Everett M. Rogers, New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962.

Emergence of a Free Press (and) Legacy of Suppression: Freedom of Speech and Press in Early American History, Leonard Levy. Emergence, New York: Oxford, 1985, is a revision of Legacy, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1960.

The Emergence of American Political Issues: The Agenda-Setting Function of the Press, Donald L. Shaw and Maxwell E. McCombs, in St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing Co., 1977.

A Free and Responsible Press, The Commission on Freedom of the Press (The Hutchins Commission Report), Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1947.

A History of American Magazines (5 vols.), Frank Luther Mott, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1930-68; (Vol. 1 was published by New York, London, Appelton and Company.

A History of the Black Press, Armistead S. Pride and Clint C. Wilson II, Washington, D.C. Howard University Press, 1997.

The Kingdom and the Power, Gay Talese, New York, World Pub. Co. 1969.

Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700-1865, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality, Gaye Tuchman, New York: Free Press, 1978.

Many Voices, One World: Communication and Society, Today and Tomorrow; Towards a New More Just and More Efficient World (The MacBride Report), International Commission for the Study of Communication Problems, UNESCO, 1980.

Mediating the Message: Theories of Influence on Mass Media Content, 2nd ed., Pamela J. Shoemaker and Stephen D. Reese, White Plains, N.Y.: Longman, 1996.

Milestones in Mass Communication Research, Shearon Lowery and Melvin L. deFleur, New York: Longman, 1983.

The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore, coordinated by Jerome Agel, New York: Bantam Books, 1967.

The Mirror Makers: A History of American Advertising and Its Creators by Stephen R. Fox, 1984.

News That Matters: Television and American Opinion, Shanto Iyengar, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Out of Order, Thomas E. Patterson, New York: A. Knopf, 1993.

The People. s Choice: How a Voter Makes Up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign, 2nd. Ed. Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson and Hazel Gaudet, New York: Columbia University Press, 1948.

A Place in the News: From the Women's Pages to the Front Pages, Kay Mills, New York: Dodd-Mead, 1988.

The Powers That Be, David Halberstam, New York: Knopf, 1979.

The Process and Effects of Mass Communication, rev. ed., Wilbur Schramm and Donald F. Roberts, eds. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1971.

Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1922.

Precision Journalism: A Reporter's Introduction To Social Science Methods, Philip Meyer, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1973.

Prelude to Independence: The Newspaper War on Britain, 1764-1776 , Arthur M. Schlesinger, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1958.

Printers and Press Freedom: The Ideology of Early American Journalism, Jeffery Alan Smith, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Split Image: African-Americans in the Mass Media, Jannette L. Dates and William Barlow, eds., Howard University Press, 1990.

A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press During World War II , Patrick S. Washburn, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Television and Human Behavior , George Comstock, Steven Chaffee, Natan Katzman, Maxwell McCombs and Donald Roberts, New York: Columbia Univrsity Press, 1978.

Television in the Lives of Our Children, Wilbur Schramm, Jack Lyle, and Edwin B. Parker, Stanford, Ca: Stanford University Press, 1961.

Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan, New York: McGraw Hill, 1964.

The Uses of Mass Communication, Beverly Hills: Sage, Jay Blumler and Elihu Katz, 1974.

The Whole World is Watching: Mass Media in the Making & Unmaking of the New Left, Todd Gitlin, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.

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