Featured Archives

Archival excerpts:

Journalism and Journalists (July 1874)
by F. B. Sandborn
Approximately a decade after the Civil War, the journalist and author F. B. Sanborn defended newspaper writing against its detractors and expressed high hopes for journalism’s future.

Newspaper Morals (March 1914)
by Henry L. Mencken
During an era characterized by muckraking and sensationalism, the social critic H. L. Mencken decried the tendency of popular newspapers to appeal to the unsophisticated instincts of the masses.

Newspaper Morals: A Reply (June 1914)
by Ralph Pulitzer
Three months later, Ralph Pulitzer, who had recently inherited the editorship of the New York World from his father, struck back against Mencken, dismissing his criticisms as unfair and classist.

The Job of the Washington Correspondent (January 1960)
by Walter Lippmann
In 1960, the columnist and philosopher Walter Lippmann emphasized the magnitude of the task with which those reporting from Washington are entrusted.

The Power and the Profits (January 1976)
by David Halberstam
In a comprehensive article on changes in the media, the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter David Halberstam commented on the outsize power—and consequent drawbacks—of television as a journalistic medium.

Why Americans Hate the Media (February 1996)
by James Fallows
In a media landscape increasingly characterized by combative political talk shows and shallow reportage, The Atlantic’s Washington editor, James Fallows, lamented that many journalists were not taking their profession seriously.