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Refocusing America: American Society Through the Camera's Lens, 1945-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  reading newspapers. In an interview with Business Week, a vice-president of a St. Louis department store stated, “…twenty years ago, the father sat down and read the entire paper. Now there’s TV …” 27 , underscoring the degree to which television had permeated American homes. The lengthening of network evening news to 30 minutes from 15 in 1963 intensified the perceived threat posed by the television. The popularity of The Today Show, however, served print a different challenge. Establishing a novel style of “news chitchat,” The Today Show was more informal and personal than any program previously aired. As host, a role she assumed in 1962, Barbara Walters took the personal to the extreme, emphasizing prominent personalities, rather than news in its purest form, whatever that may have been. The `image’ to which Daniel Boorstin referred moved to the fore. The Today Show, as well as programs imitating the Today Show’s format, became exemplars of popular entertainment, 28 serving newspapers a challenge they would have to inevitably contend with. The television affected newspapers indirectly as well, aiding in the expansion of `adversary culture.’ Vividly displaying images of Bob Dylan, the Beetles, and other musicians epitomizing counterculture ideology, the television stimulated the movement’s growth. Rock n’ roll musicians whom youths could identify with were broadcast regularly. By encouraging the development of this `adversary culture’, the television accelerated a social change whose repercussions permeated photography. Did television’s rise in prominence truly pose a substantial threat to the livelihood of the American newspaper? For Turner Catledge, executive editor of The New York Times during the 1960s, the answer was an emphatic `yes.’ In a 1966 interview with U.S. News & World Report, the editor lamented, “Unless we can intelligently and swiftly resolve the conflicts which are holding off the introduction into general newspaper use of modern automation, the newspaper as we know it will surely decline in significance if not, indeed, eventually disappear from the scene.” 29 Articulating the perceived desperation of print media’s circumstance, Catledge voiced the fears of many top editors and journalists. While 26 White 310. 27 “Newspaper fight a dollar deadline,” Business Week 11 Sept. 1965: 138. 28 Elizabeth Crocker, "Picturing Power and Protest," diss., University of Virginia, 2001. 29 “Winds of Change for Newspapers,” U.S. News & World Report 25 Apr. 1966: 69.

Authors: Maurantonio, Nicole.
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reading newspapers. In an interview with Business Week, a vice-president of a St. Louis department store
stated, “…twenty years ago, the father sat down and read the entire paper. Now there’s TV …”
27
,
underscoring the degree to which television had permeated American homes.
The lengthening of network evening news to 30 minutes from 15 in 1963 intensified the perceived
threat posed by the television. The popularity of The Today Show, however, served print a different
challenge. Establishing a novel style of “news chitchat,” The Today Show was more informal and
personal than any program previously aired. As host, a role she assumed in 1962, Barbara Walters took
the personal to the extreme, emphasizing prominent personalities, rather than news in its purest form,
whatever that may have been. The `image’ to which Daniel Boorstin referred moved to the fore. The
Today Show, as well as programs imitating the Today Show’s format, became exemplars of popular
entertainment,
28
serving newspapers a challenge they would have to inevitably contend with.
The television affected newspapers indirectly as well, aiding in the expansion of `adversary
culture.’ Vividly displaying images of Bob Dylan, the Beetles, and other musicians epitomizing
counterculture ideology, the television stimulated the movement’s growth. Rock n’ roll musicians whom
youths could identify with were broadcast regularly. By encouraging the development of this `adversary
culture’, the television accelerated a social change whose repercussions permeated photography.
Did television’s rise in prominence truly pose a substantial threat to the livelihood of the
American newspaper? For Turner Catledge, executive editor of The New York Times during the 1960s, the
answer was an emphatic `yes.’ In a 1966 interview with U.S. News & World Report, the editor lamented,
“Unless we can intelligently and swiftly resolve the conflicts which are holding off the introduction into
general newspaper use of modern automation, the newspaper as we know it will surely decline in
significance if not, indeed, eventually disappear from the scene.”
29
Articulating the perceived desperation
of print media’s circumstance, Catledge voiced the fears of many top editors and journalists. While
26
White 310.
27
“Newspaper fight a dollar deadline,” Business Week 11 Sept. 1965: 138.
28
Elizabeth Crocker, "Picturing Power and Protest," diss., University of Virginia, 2001.
29
“Winds of Change for Newspapers,” U.S. News & World Report 25 Apr. 1966: 69.


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