The Holocaust : general, Jewish and Christian media perspectives / Norman G. Booth.
Many books have examined the administrative techniques and the physical infrastructure by which the Nazis accomplished their slaughter of the Jews. For this dissertation, the primary argument is simple: The American Jewish and the Christian media examined for this dissertation provided coverage that was consistently more revealing, complete, and conclusive than did the general press of the period. The American Jewish and Christian media, representing their respective worldwide religious orders, had no established geographic boundary or political agenda and was unconstrained by geopolitical considerations. This contrasts with the general press which has responsibility to oversee governmental and political behavior. The American Jewish and Christian media had associations with academic institutions where access to informed thought provided the basis an analysis of the issues. Frequently, contributors to the American Jewish and Christian press represented their respective faiths “on the scene” at locations where general media observers were not permitted. The resources of the American Jewish and Christian faith, in terms of global presence, manpower and financial capability, eclipsed even the most well-established general news organization. The emphasis of the general press was on news reporting first and news analysis second, whereas the American Jewish and Christian media emphasized analysis first, often in a moral context, and news reporting second. Differences between the general press and the Christian and Jewish media can also be thought of in a context of “disassociation” and “identification.” The general press tended to reinforce the notion of “disassociation” because “objective” reporting resulted in the dissociation of our values and ideals toward the Jewish tragedy, and reinforced our inability to deal with discrete events worthy of high levels of moral identification. The reporting of the Christian and Jewish media examined in this dissertation tended to reinforce the notion of “identification,” because this press focused primarily on establishing a strong bond of “identification” with the victims. This work makes a modest, yet significant contribution to the comprehension of these issues for Holocaust and journalism historians.
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