Advocacy Journalism Gone Wild

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Aligning themselves with dubious foreign movements is nothing new for America’s elite journalists. What is not as widely visible is the role that journalism professors play in encouraging this “advocacy journalism.”

Cliff Kincaid, who has long been affiliated with Accuracy in Media—Accuracy in Academia’s older sister group, questioned influential journalism professor Robert McChesney on Al -Jazeera’s links to some fairly lethal groups.

“Indeed, at the 2013 Free Press conference, when I tried to question McChesney about foreign propaganda channels entering the U. S. media market, he became visibly upset, grabbed my camera, and walked away in disgust, saying other people wanted to talk to him,” Kincaid recalled in a press conference given by America’s Survival on August 20, 2013. “All of this is captured on film.”

“During the course of the conversation, such as it was, he tried to deny Al-Jazeera’s relationship with al Quaeda and other Muslim terrorist groups.” McChesney teaches at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Kincaid is the president of America’s Survival.

“My journalism textbook, Interpretative Reporting, which glorified liberal advocacy reporting, was written by Marxist journalism educator Curtis MacDougall,” Kincaid remembered in the AS press conference at the National Press Club. “I obtained MacDougall’s 300-page FBI file showing his long association with a series of Communist Party front groups.”

“MacDougall was labeled one of the ‘makers of the media mind’ in a book by William David Sloan. Interpretative Reporting was a standard text in journalism school for more than 50 years, ‘used at one time or another by almost every journalism program in the country,’ Sloan noted.”

“From 1942 to 1971 he taught at Northwestern University,” The New York Times noted in its 1985 obituary of MacDougall. The Times also noted that “At the time he died of complications after surgery for a broken hip he was working on the ninth edition of his journalism textbook  Interpretative Reporting.”

“The FBI considered MacDougall such a potential threat that he was placed on the nation’s Security Index, meaning that if a war broke out between the United States and USSR, MacDougall could have been placed under arrest,” Paul Kengor points out in his book, All The Dupes Fit to Print: Journalists Who Have Served as Tools of Communist Propaganda.  Kengor’s book was published by America’s Survival. Kincaid wrote the preface to it.

Kengor is an historian at Grove City College. The USSR stood for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the official name of the former Soviet Union.


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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