450 pages, 9x7 inches
Feb 2001 Paperback
ISBN 1-884406-16-5


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In the past quarter of a century, journalism education, communication theory, and "newswork" have all changed markedly. This book reexamines MacLean's ideas in light of these changes. Student and teacher, administrator and newsman -- all will find a treasure of information for discussion. As the editors Luigi Manca and Gail W. Pieper comment in their introductory chapter: "[MacLean] envisioned a new kind of journalist, a heretic, who would facilitate the communication process within society by helping all citizens to be part of public discourse. . . . And we hope a reexamination of MacLean's vision of journalism, his "heresy," will help initiate long-needed changes in the way teach--and in the way we do--journalism.

High-school, undergraduate, and graduate students and teachers  in journalism and mass communications.


"... a source[s] of inspiration for anyone who seeks to understand media authenticity, who believes that meanings are in people and believes in the potential of mass communication as an academic discipline ..."
  - Robert Logan (University of Missouri/Columbia)
"... if some of the heretical views espoused by Maclean and revisited in this volume can be given thorough hearing by educators and mass communication professionals, there is yet a chance to reclaim mass communication for its truest and best roles ..."   - Sharon Murphy  (Bradley University)

Part 1 sets the man in his time: the late 1960s and civil upheaval in America. MacLean's emphatically maintained that  journalists must be aware of, and responsive to, societal problems and concerns. In these seven chapters we are given a sense of MacLean's urgency: reform, experimentation, growth, learning and life.

Part 2 turns to the underlying theory characterizing MacLean's approach to communication. Readers will find some familiar ideas, such as the journalist as gatekeeper; the Westley-MacLean model that MacLean introduced early in his career and that has become a standard in the communication literature; and several new ideas, including a redefinition of subjective journalism and a look at the newspaper editor as a "gateopener."

Part 3 raises important issues about research. The articles range from an amusing fictional dialogue between a researcher and a potential funding agent, to a discussion of editing games (including one with the Star Report) that can be used for teaching journalism. The part ends with a study of  how O-methodology, advocated by MacLean, can be applied to other areas of communication studies such as advertising.

Part 4 turns to journalism education. MacLean's unique contribution was the simulation laboratory -- not a computer simulation of the so-called real world, but an experimental lab in which students designed and developed their own products, and then "sold" them to their colleagues and faculty at the end of the semester. The articles show the gradual development of the laboratory concept, its successes, and the problems it faced with the Iowa press, as well as with faculty, alums, and evaluation teams.

Part 5 is on the implications of MacLean's ideas. It begins with a stirring article by MacLean about the role of communicator in times of peace and of war. The other articles, by persons actively involved in communication arts and journalism today, are about implementing MacLean's ideas in a small university, meeting the needs of the changing ethnic populations in America in the twenty-first century. Also included is an imaginary dialogue, "Tuesdays with Malcolm," about how education and learning really take place.