"If daily journalism constitutes history's first rough draft, then Getting it Wrong certainly reveals how rough that draft can be. Joseph Campbell is a dogged and first-rate scholar."Neil Henry, Dean, University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism
"Dr. Campbell has done meticulous research that examines ten media myths in context. This book rightfully calls us to rethink some significant errors that have become a part of our history and our collective memories. It is just downright interesting reading."Wallace B. Eberhard, recipient of the American Journalism Historians Association Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement
When we think about Watergate, most of us believe that the investigative reporting of two journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, forced the resignation of President Nixon. Not so fast, argues Campbell (Sch. of Communication, American Univ.; Yellow Journalism). He claims exposing the scandal was not that simple and required multiple lines of investigation carried out by many. He analyzes the appeal of the "heroic-journalist myth" and documents how we have come to believe that the dogged efforts of two reporters saved the country. Watergate is just one of ten stories that he reexamines to demonstrate how myths of journalism distort our understanding of the power of the press. Writing chronologically, he begins by refuting the often repeated claim that Hearst and his newspapers incited the Spanish-American War and finishes with a critical review of the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Each chapter examines one of journalism's best-known stories and seeks to correct the record. VERDICT This well-written and well-researched book will be of interest to historians, journalism scholars, and sociologists. Readers concerned about media influence should be relieved, while journalists could be discouraged to learn how little their efforts matter.—Judy Solberg, Seattle Univ. Lib.