Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Matthew C. Ehrlich  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;


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-- Matthew C. Ehrlich on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Ehrlich has been a Professor of Journalism at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1992.

Biographical and Professional Information

Matthew C. Ehrlich is a profoessor of journalism at the University of illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also the author of ''Journalism in the Movies'', ''Radio Utopia'' and numerous scholarly articles on audio documentary history and popular culture's depictions of journalism.Prior to entering academia, Ehrlich was a radio journalist.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Journalism in the Movies (History of Communication)
ISBN: 0252074327

University of Illinois Press. 2006

This volume tells the story of Hollywood's depiction of American journalism from the start of the sound era. It argues that films have relentlessly played off the image of the journalist as someone who sees through lies and hypocrisy, sticks up for the little guy, and serves democracy.

Radio Utopia: Postwar Audio Documentary in the Public Interest (History of Communication)
ISBN: 0252036115

University of Illinois Press. 2011

As World War II drew to a close and radio news was popularized through overseas broadcasting, journalists and dramatists began to build upon the unprecedented success of war reporting on the radio by creating audio documentaries. Focusing particularly on the work of radio luminaries such as Edward R. Murrow, Fred Friendly, Norman Corwin, and Erik Barnouw, Radio Utopia: Postwar Audio Documentary in the Public Interest traces this crucial phase in American radio history, significant not only for its timing immediately before television, but also because it bridges the gap between the end of the World Wars and the beginning of the Cold War.
Matthew C. Ehrlich closely examines the production of audio documentaries disseminated by major American commercial broadcast networks CBS, NBC, and ABC from 1945 to 1951. Audio documentary programs educated Americans about juvenile delinquency, slums, race relations, venereal disease, atomic energy, arms control, and other issues of public interest, but they typically stopped short of calling for radical change. Drawing on rare recordings and scripts, Ehrlich traces a crucial phase in the evolution of news documentary, as docudramas featuring actors were supplanted by reality-based programs that took advantage of new recording technology. Paralleling that shift from drama to realism was a shift in liberal thought from dreams of world peace to uneasy adjustments to a cold war mentality.
Influenced by corporate competition and government regulations, radio programming reflected shifts in a range of political thought that included pacifism, liberalism, and McCarthyism. In showing how programming highlighted contradictions within journalism and documentary, Radio Utopia reveals radio's response to the political, economic, and cultural upheaval of the post-war era.

Heroes and Scoundrels: The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture (History of Communication)
ISBN: 0252080653

University of Illinois Press. 2015

Whether it's the rule-defying lifer, the sharp-witted female newshound, or the irascible editor in chief, journalists in popular culture have shaped our views of the press and its role in a free society since mass culture arose over a century ago.

Drawing on portrayals of journalists in television, film, radio, novels, comics, plays, and other media, Matthew C. Ehrlich and Joe Saltzman survey how popular media has depicted the profession across time. Their creative use of media artifacts provides thought-provoking forays into such fundamental issues as how pop culture mythologizes and demythologizes key events in journalism history and how it confronts issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation on the job.

From Network to The Wire, from Lois Lane to Mikael Blomkvist, Heroes and Scoundrels reveals how portrayals of journalism's relationship to history, professionalism, power, image, and war influence our thinking and the very practice of democracy.


Radio Utopia

Speaking Engagements

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