Senate Historian writes book on the Washington Press Corps

Donald Ritchie, the author of Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide, writes history of Washington Press Corps from FDR to 9/11

The Hill, a newpaper for about about the U.S. Congress, tells the story about the Senate Historian.

  Ritchie, a prolific author who specializes in oral history, has just put the finishing touches on his latest book, a look at how the press has covered Congress and the federal government in the last 70 years.

The book, High Level Sources: The Making of the Washington Press Corps, will be published early next year by Oxford University Press. It is a sequel to his earlier one that examined press coverage of Congress before Franklin D. Roosevelt became president.

Ritchie’s new book begins with Roosevelt’s inauguration and ends on Sept. 11, 2001.
In between those two seminal points in American history, it tells volumes about Washington journalism as the nation moved from the New Deal through World War II and the Cold War, McCarthyism, the civil-rights movement, the sexual revolution and Vietnam into the era of global trade and terrorism, the Internet and Matt Drudge.

“Until FDR became president, Congress was the center of attention of news coverage of the nation’s capital,” Ritchie said last week in his book-lined office in the Hart Senate Office Building. “Then, because of FDR’s personality and his mastery of the new technology of radio, the center of attention shifted to the White House.”

Heh. This category should be Oral History of the news. ; )

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 20, 2004 in • Oral history in the news
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