Dark Days in the Newsroom

McCarthyism Aimed at the Press

Edward Alwood
Book Cover

PB: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-342-0
Publication: Jun 07

HC: $76.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-341-3
Publication: Jun 07

Ebook: $30.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-343-7

216 pages
5.5 x 8.25

Shines a new light on a dark era in American journalism

Read the Introduction (pdf).


Dark Days in the Newsroom traces how journalists became radicalized during the Depression era only to become targets of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communists during the 1950s. The book describes how the anti-Communist crusade pried inside newsrooms thought to be sacrosanct under the First Amendment. Journalists who were fired and prosecuted after they refused to testify about their thoughts and beliefs staged a heroic defense of First Amendment freedom of the press. It is a remarkable story of conflict, principle, and personal sacrifice. Relying on previously undisclosed documents from the FBI, archival holdings, and personal interviews, the book provides a rich commentary on an episode that journalism history has overlooked. It also shows how many of the issues faced by journalists of this bygone era parallel today's conflicts over the right of journalists to protect their sources, including New York Times reporter Judith Miller and Time reporter Matthew Cooper. The conflicts in the 1950s ran even deeper, calling into question the right of journalist to protect themselves and their newspapers against government intrusion.

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. Awakening the Newsroom 2. The Communist Connection 3. Prelude to an Investigation 4. Reds in the Newsroom 5. The Specter of McCarthy 6. Dark Clouds over the Newsroom 7. The Investigation 8. Deeper Trouble 9. Journalists and the First Amendment 10. Lessons from the Past List of Abbreviations Selected Bibliography Appendices

About the Author(s)

Edward Alwood is Associate Professor of Journalism at Quinnipiac University and former Correspondent for CNN. He is the author of Straight News: Gays, Lesbians, and the News Media.