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Media Advisory

McChesney 117

U of M School of Journalism and Mass Communication and University Bookstore to host authors Bob McChesney and John Nichols

Contacts: Sarah Saubert, School of Journalism and Mass Communication,, (612) 626-1723

March 3, 2010

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the University Bookstore at the University of Minnesota will host authors Bob McChesney and John Nichols for a lecture and book signing at 6 p.m. March 25, in 130 Murphy Hall, 206 Church Street S.E., Minneapolis. The event is free and open to the public.

In "The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that will Begin the World Again" (Nation Books; Jan. 5, 2010), media experts McChesney and Nichols explore the crisis of modern journalism. Beyond the tremendous job losses associated with a dying print-media industry, they argue that the loss of a free, viable and informative press could threaten our open democracy.

“America, like any country that would be democratic, requires not merely a free press but a functional press -- media that regard the state secret as an assault to popular governance, that watch the politically and economically powerful with a suspicious eye, that recognize as their duty the informing and enlightening of citizens so that they may govern themselves in a republic,” write McChesney and Nichols. 

Though McChesney and Nichols make the case that state investment in journalism is vital to news media survival, they do not expect monetary assistance alone to bailout the media. Their book reviews the roles of differing business models, competing technologies and changing advertising demands in creating the crisis and presenting option for revitalizing journalism. They offer expert advice to those who can change the face of journalism, including:

•    Quit blaming the Internet for the ‘demise’ of newspapers
•    Embrace the surge of ‘pro-am’ journalism and crowd-sourcing
•    Investigate partnerships between the media and institutions focused on the free-flow of information
•    Consider new “low profit” business models.

McChesney and Nichols present a bold prescription for the newspaper industry’s ills—one that should make policy makers, activists on the left and right, journalists, and, above all, citizens stand up and listen. Rather than sound the death knell of journalism, "The Death and Life of American Journalism" offers hope; it is a vibrant call to action on behalf of the people’s right to know.

About the Authors
McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the author or editor of 16 books. His work has been translated into 21 languages. He is co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization and hosts “Media Matters” on NPR-affiliate WILL-AM radio. He lives in Madison, Wisc. More information is available at

Nichols has worked as a daily newspaper journalist and magazine writer for 25 years, reporting from more than 25 countries and interviewing every United States president since Jimmy Carter. A pioneering political blogger for The Nation, he is the magazine’s Washington correspondent. He is also the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisc. A co-founder of Free Press, he appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and other broadcast and cable networks.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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