Tuesday, March 13, 2018
This book was published in 1962 and its insights are still relevant. One item noted is how journalism went from reporting the news to making the news. Boorstin cites the use of interviews as one way in which the press was able to generate news. An excerpt:
Historians of journalism date the first full-fledged modern interview with a well-known public figure from July 13, 1859, when Horace Greeley interviewed Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, asking him questions on many matters of public interest, and then publishing the answers verbatim in his New York Tribune (August 20, 1859). The common use of the word "interview" in this modern American sense first came in about this time. Very early the institution acquired a reputation for being contrived."The 'interview,'" The Nation complained (January 28, 1869), "as at present managed, is generally the joint product of some humbug of a hack politician and another humbug of a reporter." A few years later another magazine editor called the interview "the most perfect contrivance yet devised to make journalism an offence, a thing of ill savor in all decent nostrils." Many objected to the practice as an invasion of privacy. After the American example it was used in England and France, but in both of those countries it made much slower headway.
Posted by Michael Wade at 5:10 PM