On Press: The Liberal Values That Shaped the News
Harvard University Press
Something dramatic changed in American journalism between 1960 and 1980, claims Matthew Pressman. Instead of just a bald catalogue of what politicians and officials were doing and saying, news coverage in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, for example, began to reflect a distinctive set of values: “mistrust of the wealthy and powerful, sympathy for the dispossessed, belief in the government’s responsibility to address social ills”. Although “not designed to serve any ideological agenda”, the result, Pressman admits, was “a news product more satisfying to the centre-left than to those who are right of centre”. On Press explores this decisive liberal turn and its enduring impact down to today.