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Newspapers as Primary Sources

Walter Cronkite on television during the first presidential debate between Ford and Carter.

Television news became the most popular source of news during this period. TV news, dominated by ABC, NBC, and CBS and their popular news anchors (Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, and Douglas Edwards) broadcast powerful images from across the country, including those of the Civil Rights movement.  The popular CBS news magazine, 60 Minutes, debuted in 1968. 

U.S. news found an international audience as Patricia Dooley explains:  "The 1970s saw a rise in the impact of televised international news coverage.  In August 1970, coverage of thousands of women marching in U.S. cities to dramatize feminist concerns found its way to Europe....In 1977s, CBS anchor Walter Cronkite used satellite technology to conduct intervies with Egypt's President, Anwar Sadat, and the Israeli Prime Minister, Menachem Begin."  CNN became the first 24/7 news channel in 1980. 

With the rise of TV news, newspaper readership declined.  Dooley explains that "By the 1980s, newspaper owners were forced to adapt not only to the popularity of television ews but also to competition from within the newspaper industry itself.  Al Neuharth's 1982 launch of the controversial USA Today, with its color, graphics, and innovative layouts and headlines, chook the field." 

Help: Analyzing Newspapers

*Dooley, P. (2009). History of journalism: 1930-1995. In C. H. Sterling (Ed.), Encyclopedia of journalism (Vol. 2, pp. 707-712).

Help finding newspapers in the UW Libraries

  • Search our Microforms & Newspapers Collection database to see which newspapers we hold in print and on microfilm. 
  • Use UW Libraries Search to locate newspapers (online or on microform) by title or place of publication. Type in the place AND newspaper. For example:  Seattle AND newspaper. On the results screen choose the Resource Type "Journals" from the left toolbar.
  • Use the databases on this page for news stories published about your topic. 

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