Schmuhl contributes to Annenberg project on media

Author: Matthew V. Storin


UniversityofNotre Dame Professor Robert Schmuhlis a contributor toThe Press,a new book published by the Oxford University Press as a joint project of The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands (Rancho Mirage,Calif.) and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of theUniversityofPennyslvania.

Schmuhl, professor of American studies and director of Notre Dames John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics&Democracy, is the lead author, with Robert C. Picard, of a chapter titledThe Marketplace of Ideas.The 473-page book is the product of a series of meetings by an international panel of journalism professionals and scholars, initiated in 2003, to examine the historical and contemporary role of the press in American democracy.Picard is Hamrin Professor of Media Economics and director of the Media, Management and Transition Centre at theJönköpingUniversityinSweden.

The chapter by Schmuhl and Picard examines the history of themarketplacemetaphor for intellectual debate and traces the evolving role of the American media.

The authors note that themarketplace metaphor is somewhat dubious in the modern media environmentfor a number of reasons.Todays reality…divides people into idea and information haves and have-nots,they write,with such factors as economic status and educational background significant to whether a citizen has the wherewithal to participate fully . . .

p. Schmuhl and Picard are members of the Institutions of American Democracy project commissioned by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands to enhance understanding of the nature and function of five key institutions: the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, the press and the public schools. Each commission is producing a scholarly volume and other educational materials to foster civic thought and action.

The book was edited by Geneva Overholser of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

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