Television is evolving rapidly. How, then, might we respond to television today in light of its past? And do the old theoretical concepts still apply, or must we invent a new framework for this mutable medium? To answer these fundamental questions, the contributors to this provocative collection examine diverse case studies, including up-to-date scholarship on the current television zeitgeist, nostalgic programming on broadcast television, YouTube, and public television art programming of the 1980s. As a whole, these essays challenge the supposed crisis in television in the light of its burgeoning development.
The Art of the Break
Mary Wimmer University of Wisconsin Press, 2022 Library of Congress PS3623.I5886A88 2022 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Charlotte “Charlie” Sobczak finds the most comfort in making cheese—a craft she learned at the side of her father, Karl Mayer. In the wake of his untimely death, she and her daughter, Lucy, return to her rural hometown of Falls River, Wisconsin. With her marriage to Rick floundering, and still grieving the childhood loss of her sister and mother to polio and depression, she decides to pour all her efforts into reopening the family’s Morgan Cheese Factory.
Hyperaware of her own childhood losses and the challenges posed by Rick’s PTSD and heavy drinking, Charlie strives to build a stable home for Lucy. Her degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin gives her a leg up, and the quiet joys of working at the cheese vat provide a deep, healing peace that points the way toward happiness.
But Falls River is too narrow-minded to accept a female business owner, and Charlie is ill-prepared for the pettiness and conventions of small-town life. When debts come due, including a lien against her family’s land, she must quickly figure out who is on her side—and how to keep her dreams alive.
Lisa Steinberg. Elisa Izquierdo. Lance Helms. These are just a few of the names drawn from recent headlines, revealing cases of horrendous child abuse and neglect. Such cases have led to a crisis of confidence in the current child protective services (CPS) system, and to frequent calls for reform.
The public is right to be concerned, shows Jane Waldfogel, but many perceptions of the CPS system and the problems it is designed to alleviate are inaccurate. This book goes beyond the headlines, using historical, comparative, and specific case data to formulate a new approach to protecting children.
Currently, Waldfogel argues, the CPS system is overwhelmed by referrals. As a result, neither high-risk nor low-risk families are adequately served.
Waldfogel examines the underlying assumptions of CPS, compares the U.S. record with those of Britain, Canada, and Australia, and offers a "new paradigm" in which CPS joins with other public and private partners to provide a differential response to the broad range of children in need of protection. She highlights reforms underway in several states and in Britain.
This book's analytical clarity and straightforward policy recommendations will make it mandatory reading for policymakers, practitioners, and others interested in the future of child protection.
The Arkansas Gazette, under the independent local ownership of the Heiskell/Patterson family, was one of the most honored newspapers of twentieth-century American journalism, winning two Pulitzer Prizes for its coverage of the Little Rock Central Crisis. But wounds from a fierce newspaper war against another local owner—Walter Hussman and his Arkansas Democrat—combined with changing economic realities, led to the family’s decision to sell to the Gannett Corporation in 1986.
Whereas the Heiskell/Patterson family had been committed to quality journalism, Gannett was focused on the bottom line. The corporation shifted the Gazette’s editorial focus from giving readers what they needed to be engaged citizens to informing them about what they should do in their leisure time. While in many ways the chain trivialized the Gazette’s mission, the paper managed to retain its superior quality. But financial concerns made the difference in Arkansas’s ongoing newspaper war. As the head of a privately held company, Hussman had only himself to answer to, and he never flinched while spending $42 million in his battle with the Pattersons and millions more against Gannett. Gannett ultimately lost $108 million during its five years in Little Rock; Hussman said his losses were far less but still in the tens of millions.
Gannett had to answer to nervous stockholders, most of whom had no tie to, or knowledge of, Arkansas or the Gazette. For Hussman, the Arkansan, the battle had been personal since at least 1978. It is no surprise that the corporation blinked first, and the Arkansas Gazette died on October 18, 1991, the victim of corporate journalism.
Listen to a short interview with Giles SladeHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane
If you've replaced a computer lately--or a cell phone, a camera, a television--chances are, the old one still worked. And chances are even greater that the latest model won't last as long as the one it replaced. Welcome to the world of planned obsolescence--a business model, a way of life, and a uniquely American invention that this eye-opening book explores from its beginnings to its perilous implications for the very near future.
Made to Break is a history of twentieth-century technology as seen through the prism of obsolescence. America invented everything that is now disposable, Giles Slade tells us, and he explains how disposability was in fact a necessary condition for America's rejection of tradition and our acceptance of change and impermanence. His book shows us the ideas behind obsolescence at work in such American milestones as the inventions of branding, packaging, and advertising; the contest for market dominance between GM and Ford; the struggle for a national communications network, the development of electronic technologies--and with it the avalanche of electronic consumer waste that will overwhelm America's landfills and poison its water within the coming decade.
History reserves a privileged place for those societies that built things to last--forever, if possible. What place will it hold for a society addicted to consumption--a whole culture made to break? This book gives us a detailed and harrowing picture of how, by choosing to support ever-shorter product lives we may well be shortening the future of our way of life as well.