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Imagine you are a war reporter in this World War II era. You are cross-pressured by a professional desire for you and your news organization (newspaper, magazine or radio) to attract an audience, educate people, and succeed … while also being a patriotic citizen worried about the threat of Hitler and the Nazis and literally the future of the free world. One day your boss wants you to write a story that focuses President Roosevelt’s polio, his being restricted to a wheelchair, and whether he can carry out the duties of being a war-time president. Respond to the Prompt by writing a letter to your boss, taking him/her through your thoughts, referencing as many of the assigned readings and viewings as possible, plus outside material you bring to bear.

What do you say to your boss?

Tips: Don’t forget the usual citations and illustration 500 words is fine, but you can go longer if you like.

Bosses often think they have all the answers.

You need to be persuasive.


  • An overview (instead of Fellow:) Sloan, D.S. The Media in America: A History. PART TWO: “The Media and National Crises”, pp. 351-358 •
  • Primary source materials: Excerpts, Pickett, Voices of the Past. •
  • War reporters come of age: YouTube: Edward R. Murrow: First Night of the Blitz on London, Sept. 7, 1940. •
  • All presidents battle the press, Round 4: WW 2 David Brinkley discusses Franklin D Roosevelt’s Press Conferences and Fireside Chats. •
  • Hiding a Disability. •
  • The Myth of Roosevelt’s Wheelchair | TIME
  • Other supplementary information to be sent. Please read chapter 10 from American Media History
Essay to write on World War II the “good” war journalism