Debunking media myths
■ Check out Campbell's blog, Media Myth Alert
■ Read Chapter One of Getting It Wrong
is a past winner of the AU student government's
■ The first year-study in journalism research was Campbell's book, The Year That Defined American Journalism: 1897 and the Clash of Paradigms. Here's the transcript of an online chat about the book at washingtonpost.com
■ See a gallery of 1897 photos
■ All about "yellow journalism" as practiced in the late 19th century
W. Joseph Campbell is a tenured professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C.
Campbell entered the academy after more than 20 years as a newspaper and wire service journalist, a career that took him across North America and to West Africa, Europe, and Asia.
He joined the AU faculty in 1997 and has since written five books, most recently Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism.
Getting It Wrong was critically well received. Commentary magazine said: "It may be the best book about journalism in recent memory; it is certainly the most subversive."
The Wall Street Journal called the book "persuasive and entertaining," adding:
"With old-school academic detachment, Mr. Campbell ... shows how the fog of war, the warp of ideology and muffled skepticism can transmute base journalism into golden legend."
Campbell's other books include The Year That Defined American Journalism: 1897 and the Clash of Paradigms (2006).
Campbell's first book, The Emergent Independent Press in Benin and Côte d'Ivoire: From Voice of State to Advocate of Democracy (1998), examined the wellsprings of independent-minded journalism in francophone West Africa.
His second book, Yellow Journalism: Puncturing the Myths, Defining the Legacies (2001), challenged prominent myths and misunderstandings of the yellow press period in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. He also is the author of The Spanish-American War: American Wars and the Media in Primary Documents (2005).
Campbell earned his Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997.
Before then, his reporting assignments included covering nuclear arms negotiations in Geneva, youth unrest in Swiss urban centers, the challenge to communist rule in Poland, political upheaval across West Africa, and the consequences of the world's deadliest industrial disaster at Bhopal, India.
His research has been published in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, American Journalism, Journalism History, Editor & Publisher, and American Journalism Review. Campbell has lectured at the National Press Club, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, and the Newseum.
He has been interviewed on many topics by a variety of news outlets, including the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chronicle of Higher Education, Editor & Publisher, Voice of America, C-SPAN2, and local television stations in Washington, D.C.
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