Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans
Julia Guarneri’s recent book Newsprint Metropolis offers a tour of American newspapers in their most creative and vital decades, around the turn of the twentieth century. This history looks beyond newspapers’ front pages to much-loved features such as the sports page, the metropolitan section, the Sunday magazine, and the comic strips. As these features commercialized the news, they also drew in new audiences, including women, immigrants, and working-class readers. Guarneri shows that newspapers did not just report on cities, but truly helped to build them by hosting marketplaces, waging civic campaigns, and teaching readers new urban habits. In other words: cities made newspapers, but newspapers also made cities.
Guarneri will speak about newspapers as rich documents for urban history, and Nick Chiles will bring a contemporary journalist’s perspective to the conversation. Together they’ll address questions such as: Which aspects of city life have newspapers chosen to celebrate, criticize, or ignore? What role did newspapers play in the creation of suburbs, and in segregating those suburbs? What effect did the birth of news syndicates and newspaper chains have on local news? What kinds of public conversations were once hosted by daily papers—and where have those conversations gone?
This event is co-sponsored with the Humanities Council's Program in Journalism.