Research on Newsreels as a Journalistic Technology

This essay, coauthored with Steve McCreery at Appalachian State and out now in Journalism History, takes a historical look at the development of journalistic technology. The newsreel is a fascinating moment in the development visual news storytelling and this piece looks at how journalistic discourses created the terms by which this technology could be understood as a broader aspect of professional journalism. Steve really kicked this research off with some real passion and insight, and I happy to have been a part of it.

The journal can be a little difficult to track down without EBSCO Access, so be in touch if you’d like a copy.

Steve McCreery and Brian Creech, “The Journalistic Value of Emerging Technologies: American PRess Reaction to WWII Newsreels,” Journalism History (40)3, 2014, pp. 177-186.

Here’s the abstract: This essay investigates World War II-era newsreels in order to understand how journalistic discourses create the means for understanding emerging technologies within the practice of journalism. The essay lays out a theoretical rationale influenced by Bruno Latour and Walter Benjamin for looking at how emerging technologies are understood through public discourse. The analysis looks at newsreels as a form of visual storytelling that presaged television news, and we argue that the wartime press provided a milieu for understanding how newsreels, as a journalistic medium, could be critiqued and understood as a storytelling form and how this form of critique played an important part in characterizing their content as journalistically valid. By focusing on issues of production and censorship alongside the aesthetic and technical aspects of the newsreels, the press created the terms by which newsreels could be judged, evaluated, and eventually integrated into the broader production of journalism. Our analysis shows that, while issues of production were important, newsreels gained their greatest legitimacy through the celebration and lionizing of the cameramen as courageous news-gatherers, equal in stature to the soldiers they filmed. 


CIC: Critical Approaches to the Study of Advertising

New post up at Culture In Conversation.

Critical Approaches to the Study of Advertising

From conversation organizer, Jay Hamilton, University of Georgia

Critical studies of advertising seem to have hit a crossroads. I’m no longer convinced that traditional critical perspectives (Critical Theory, semiotic/structuralist, political-economic) can simply be mechanically applied to the current times. Advertising practice and the hyper-extension of consumer culture into the digital realm has changed so much since the formulation of these “classic” critical positions. Is this just me? Or do you also see the same problems with applying existing critical positions to today’s practice?

CFP: Remembering Stuart Hall – Trajectories and Permutations

Remembering Stuart Hall: Trajectories and Permutations

The recent passing of Stuart Hall has occasioned reflections and remembrances across academe. Casting a long shadow across the world of Cultural Studies, Hall’s personality and gracious spirit have been excellently catalogued and eulogized in the pages of sundry other publications. In the collaborative spirit that underlies our project, Culture in Conversation instead offers scholars and researchers a space to converse and compare their intellectual trajectories, excavating the traces and deep marks bearing Stuart Hall’s influence.

We are not asking for fully crafted essays or research studies. Instead, we seek the kind of open engagement engendered by scholarly conversation.

Specifically, we seek conversations and contributions that are reflexive in scope, yet also point the way to new possibilities. Using Hall’s texts, concepts, methods, or practices as an originating point, we seek contributors interested in revealing to others how they’ve made his work useful in their own lines of inquiry. We seek conversations and contributions that retread and capture intellectual cartographies, leaving maps for those who may come later. We offer the following suggestions as a starting point, and welcome other, overlooked topics.

  • The possibility of contemporary conjectural analysis.
  • “Encoding/decoding” in a digital world
  • The Atlantic-sized gulf between British and American Cultural Studies
  • Continued negotiations of identity
  • The evolving politics of image and representation
  • Doing things with Marx and Gramsci no one has seen before
  • Deconstructing the contemporary popular
  • The ever-widening circuit of culture
  • The legacy of Policing the Crisis
  • Contesting the politics to come

Interested individuals should consult our style guidelines below and familiarize themselves with prior conversations published on this site.

Deadline April 15, 2014. Submissions may be e-mailed to