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2020 Camden Conference: February 21, 22, 23

The Media Revolution: Changing the World

The Witherle Memorial Library is a supporter of the 33rd Annual Camden Conference.  As such, the library will present three lectures on media and journalism.  For more information on these please go to the Events page.  Additionally, the Camden Conference has provided the library with funding to offer the full list of recommended titles for this year’s subject. All titles are now available at the library.


Abramson, Jill. Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts. Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2019. A view of two legacy and two upstart companies as they plow through a revolution in technology, economics, standards, commitment and endurance that pits old vs. new media.

Edwards, Bob. Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004. “Most Americans living today never heard Ed Murrow in a live broadcast. This book is for them I want them to know that broadcast journalism was established by someone with the highest standards.”

Bob Edwards Gitlin, Todd. Media Unlimited. Picador. 2007 How the digital torrent has fostered a society of disposable emotions and casual commitments and threatens to make democracy a sideshow.

Gurri, Martin. The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium. Stripe Press. 2018. Technology and the shift in information balance of power between the public and the elites who manage the hierarchical institutions of the industrial age government, political parties and the media.

Halberstam, David. The Powers That Be. University of Illinois press. 2001. The development of the media centers in the U.S., newspaper, radio and television and the people and families who have made a business of the first amendment’s cherished freedom of the press.

Howard, Philip N. and Muzammil M. Hussein. Democracy’s Fourth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring. Oxford University Press 2013.  A exploration of whether digital media caused the “Arab Spring” and a deeper history of creative digital activism in the region.

Jamieson, Kathleen Hall. Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President What We Don’t, Can’t and Do Know. Oxford University Press. 2020. An analysis and conclusion that through troll posts, unique polling data, the use of unique polling data, the use of hacked content and a synthesis of half a century of media effects literature Russia, probably but not certainly, helped elect Donald Trump.

Jones, Alex S. Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy. Oxford University Press. 2011. A probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media and eroding the core news that has been the essential food supply of our democracy.

Kennedy, Dan. The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century. ForeEdge. 2018. The story of the daily newspaper, an unchecked slide from record profitability and readership to plummeting profits, increasing irrelevance and inevitable obsolescence.

Lee, Peter. The Politics of Climate Change, Military Intervention and Financial Crisis. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 2015. A look at truth through analyzing military interventions, environmental disasters and financial crisis.

McCraw, David E. Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts. All Points Books. 2019. His experience as the top newsroom lawyer for the New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations.

Macdonald, Hector. Truth: How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality. Little, Brown and Company. 2018. Clear-eyed compelling guidelines for becoming a more accurate consumer and producer of information.

McNamee, Roger. Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. Penguin Press. 2019. A noted tech venture capitalist’s view of the serious damage Facebook is doing to our society, and his attempts to stop it.

Mounk, Yascha. The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save it. Harvard University Press. 2018. A view of the breakdown of conditions that make a liberal democracy work and how to restore them.

O’Connor, Callin and James Owen Weatherall. The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread. Yale University Press. 2018. The social dynamics of “alternative facts”: why what you believe depends on who you know.

Halberstam, David. Rusbridger, Alan. Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why it Matters Now. Picador. 2019. An urgent account of how the revolution in technology has upended the news business.

Singer, P. W. and Emerson T. Brooking. LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2018. An exploration of the collision of war, politics and social media.

Sumpter, David. Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-bubbles: The Algorithms That Control our Lives. Bloomsbury Sigma. 2018. An investigation into the equations that analyze us, influence us and will (maybe) become like us, a mildly skeptical analysis of internet data manipulation.

Wu, Tim. The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 2011. An analysis of the strategic maneuvers of today’s great information powers-Apple, Google, and an eerily resurgent AT&T.


Eggers, David. The Circle. Large Print Press. 2015 A dystopian novel about a young woman’s career with an enormous tech company called The Circle and featuring themes like transparency, privacy, virtual voyeurism and corporate personhood.

Rachman, Tom. The Imperfectionists: A Novel. Random House Reader’s Circle. 2011 A story of the topsy-turvy lives of the denizens of an English language newspaper set in Rome.


Bradlee, Ben. A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures. Simon & Schuster. 2017. A path from Harvard to the Pinnacle of success at The Washington Post which he and his reporters transformed intone of the most influential and respected news publications in the world.

Dundar, Can. We Are Arrested: A Journalist’s Notes from a Turkish Prison. Biteback Publishing. 2016 A journalist’s account of a discovery, the decision to publish it and the events that unfolded after that decision.

Woodruff, Judy. This is Judy Woodruff at the White House. Addison-Wesley. 1982. An account of one woman’s triumph in the world of television journalism.

Weller, Sheila. The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour, and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News. Penguin Books. 2014.  An account of three women who broke through the walls of the male fortress of television journalism.