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Historiography in Mass Communication


The study and teaching of the history of broadcast news is a relatively recent enterprise — particularly with respect to the attention given to television news — which often parallels the lives of the academics who study and teach the subject. As a result, some of the research focused on broadcast news has been based upon the observations of individuals and events observed firsthand on occasion by those doing the reporting and the research. This close proximity to history has offered unique opportunities to stimulate interest, offer additional clarity or alternatively debunk some of the historic narratives from the field, including the many “moments” one might most readily recall with genuine concerns about authenticity and accuracy. The members of this panel of four media historians have experiences totaling well over a century in the field and offer considerable perspective on the stories they regularly report to their students and their colleagues.