The winner of the 2009 National Federation of Press Women Award for best nonfiction book, this groundbreaking work uncovers the growth of narrative and anecdotal writing in American newspapers in the first part of the 21st century. The book and the study connect the rise of blogs, citizen journalism, personal stories throughout the culture in media in editorial and non-editorial works, as well as a proposed connection that this kind of humanistic journalism is good for you with the ironic need for a more inclusive form of reporting in a fragmented media landscape.
Excerpt: “The front page is a peculiar product at once permanent and ephemeral. Nothing is as old as yesterday’s news, and nothing lasts longer in a reader’s memory or a reporter’s portfolio than front-page news. The type of news delivered in print today is dramatically different from that available even as recently as the start of the twenty-first century. The newspaper has become a portal for a stylized slow dance of information, not for the quick bursts of digests and info-nuggets a reader can get more quickly online or from broadcast.
“Stories in newsprint have shifted into a more deliberate choreography of information, reaction, and participation. They are everyman stories.”
Praise for Michele Weldon and Everyman News
“A compelling read, a thoughtful examination of a brief and dynamic period of change in American
newspapers.” – Frederick Blevens, co-author of Twilight of Press Freedom: The Rise of People’s Journalism
“Weldon starts with a seemingly narrow, though important, issue about the front page, but she quickly ranges broadly and deeply into the democratization of news and journalism. “Everyman” thoughtfully explores reader-contributed content, changing tone and content of mainstream journalism, narrative writing and even “narrative therapy”—and ends up at the frontier between citizen and community.” – Frank Denton, Vice President for Journalism, Morris Communications
“Michele Weldon argues that newspapers since 2001 have become ‘story papers.’ She tracks the significant changes in front pages, showing how personal stories—stories about everyday people—now dominate Page One. Her book is intimate, it’s readable and it’s convincing. And it may give you hope for the future of newspaper journalism.” – Peggy Kuhr, Dean, School of Journalism, University of Montana