By Edward Alwood
Dark Days within the Newsroom strains how reporters turned radicalized through the melancholy period, basically to develop into pursuits of Senator Joseph McCarthy and like-minded anti-Communist crusaders through the Fifties. Edward Alwood, a former information correspondent, describes this extraordinary tale of clash, precept, and private sacrifice with obvious élan. He indicates how McCarthy's minions pried within newsrooms regarded as sacrosanct below the 1st modification, and info how a few newshounds fixed a heroic protection of freedom of the clicking whereas others secretly enlisted within the government's anti-communist campaign.
Relying on formerly undisclosed files from FBI documents besides own interviews, Alwood presents a richly educated observation on one among the main major moments within the background of yank journalism. Arguing that the reviews of the McCarthy years profoundly encouraged the perform of journalism, he exhibits what number of the problems confronted by means of reporters within the Nineteen Fifties prefigure contemporary conflicts over the suitable of reporters to guard their assets.
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Additional info for Dark Days in the Newsroom: McCarthyism Aimed at the Press
At the same time he challenged his newspaper colleagues to seize the initiative. “It is a little difﬁcult for me, in spite of my radical leanings and training and yearnings, to accept wholeheartedly the conception of the boss and his wage slaves,” he said. He urged his colleagues at newspapers across the nation to organize a labor union that would ﬁght for higher wages and better working conditions. ”22 Many journalists did not wait for formal organizing to begin. The earliest groups began meeting in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
50 The agreement also pressured Hearst to settle the Milwaukee strike. 51 Newspaper strikes were only one sign of the guild’s radicalization. At the guild’s annual convention in the summer of 1937, delegates adopted a series of resolutions with a leftist bent, including one supporting Roosevelt’s ill-advised attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court with justices supportive of his New Deal policies. Another resolution expressed the guild’s support for Spanish loyalists. 52 The most glaring symbol of the guild’s leftward shift came when Broun called for a switch to the more militant Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and to expand the membership base beyond newsroom employees to include workers in the advertising and business departments.
58 The guild’s shift to militancy had begun at an unprecedented time in labor history—the mid-1930s, when the CIO was beginning to take root. The organization sprang from the AFL’s refusal to organize unskilled workers in mass production and its decision to oust militant unionists in 1936. John L. Lewis, head of the United Mine Workers, and several other union leaders then formed the CIO. 59 Because of the Communists’ impressive organizing skills, work ethic, and experience in organizing workers, Lewis quietly invited them to help build the ﬂedgling CIO into a viable force.