For the Record; an Oral History of Rochester, New York, Newsworkers


For the Record; an Oral History of Rochester, New York, Newsworkers



For the Record focuses on the experiences of journalists, primarily in their own words, who worked in Rochester, New York, on the Gannett owned Democrat & Chronicle and the Times Union. While there are occasional glimpses back to the beginning of the twentieth century and conversations regarding current newsroom policies by those who are still involved in the business, most of the material in this study centers on Gannett during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s-a period that may be seen as pivotal to the development of the Gannett Company. Although there is an enormous wealth of material available on the lives of editors, publishers, and owners of newspapers, the history of newsworkers remains quite limited. Brennen's primary intention for this project is to give voice to these newsworkers, investigating their work environment, routines, and expectations. Journalists shared their favorite stories, best interviews, greatest challenges, and most frustrating experiences with Brennen. In giving voice to those previously marginalized, this oral history project may help us to reach a deeper understanding of the challenges and realities newsworkers face in the United States.



Publication Date



Fordham University Press


New York


Newsworkers, Journalism, Rochester-- New York


Communication | Journalism Studies


Table of Contents

A Brief History of Gannett

Newsworkers' Introduction to Journalism 7

Work Routines 28

Beat Reporting 28

Attention to Detail 36

Women in the Newsroom 40

Moonlighting 49

Minority Coverage 53

Newsroom Struggles 67

Gannett Policies 67

Newsworkers React 75

Competition Between the Democrat & Chronicle and the Times Union 83

Guild and Gannett 89

Ideology of Gannett Newsworkers 109

Objectivity 109

Role of Reporters 113

Changing Technologies 120

Memorable Stories 130

Lucky Breaks 130

Drama on the Police Beat 135

Colorful Characters 148

Consent, Compliance, and Resistance: Toward a Critical Theory of Labor and Newswork 153

For the Record; an Oral History of Rochester, New York, Newsworkers