Copper Chorus: Mining, Politics, and the Montana Press, 1889-1959 (hardcover) [Butte]
By Dennis L. Swibold. Hardcover, 432 pages.
Author Dennis Swibold addresses a key issue in Montana history: the Anaconda Copper Mining Company's control of nearly all of the state's larger newspapers and its citizens' access to news. Such "captive" journalism was hardly unique to Montana, but in terms of its longevity, reach, and reputation, no industrial entity in any other state matched the Company's hold over Montana's press. The story resonates beyond Montana as a cautionary tale for modern news organizations consumed and marginalized in ever-vaster corporate consolidations, where the temptation to harness news to the service of marketing and image runs strong.
This is the first book devoted to Montana's long history of industrial newspaper ownership and the consequences for democracy. The work also reveals the costs paid by owners and their journalists, whose credibility eroded as their increasingly constricted newspapers lapsed into ambivalence and indifference. The story offers a timeless study of the conflict between commerce and the notion of a free and independent press.
Hardcover, 432 pages.