W. Joseph Campbell is an American writer, educator, historian, media critic, and blogger. He has written seven solo-authored books, the most recent of which examines polling failure in U.S. presidential elections. The title is Lost in a Gallup, which has been praised as a “bracing reality check.”
Campbell’s work includes the award-winning, media-mythbusting book, Getting It Wrong (University of California Press, 2010, 2017). Getting It Wrong inspired critics to refer to Campbell “the man who calls journalists on their own B.S.” and “the master of debunk.”
He also is the author of the well-received 1995: The Year the Future Began (University of California Press, 2015) and The Year That Defined American Journalism: 1897 and the Clash of Paradigms (Routledge, 2006).
Campbell is a professor of communication at American University in Washington, D.C. He earned his doctorate in mass communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before entering the academy, Campbell was a professional journalist for 20 years, a career that took him across North America to Europe, West Africa, and parts of Asia.
He earned his undergraduate degree at Ohio Wesleyan University which awarded him its Distinguished Alumni Citation at a ceremony in 2014, shown in the image below.
Covers of some of Campbell’s books
Recent Posts: Commentary: W. Joseph Campbell
(This essay was first posted at Media Myth Alert blog on 21 December 2020.) The timeless paean to childhood and the Christmas spirit, published in 1897 in the old New York Sun, long ago became the single best-known, most-reprinted editorial in American journalism. It also is a myth-distorted artifact, as suggested by errant media descriptions […]
(This essay was first posted at Media Myth Alert blog on 30 November 2020.) “The press has had little to say about most of the strange details of the election — except, that is, to ridicule all efforts to discuss them. This animus appeared soon after [Election Day], in a spate of caustic articles dismissing […]
(This essay originally was posted at the Conversation online site on 10 November 2020.) Polling is hardly a flamboyant field that attracts a lot of colorful characters. It is a rather reserved profession that now finds itself under siege in the aftermath of yet another polling surprise in a national election. The field is buffeted […]
Recent Posts: Media Myth Alert
‘Napalm Girl’ photographer defies backlash risk and accepts award at White House; is assaulted following night
Nick Ut, the award-winning photojournalist who took the much-mythologized “Napalm Girl” image late in the Vietnam War, came to Washington, D.C., this week to accept an award from President Donald Trump. Ut risked intense backlash for sharing a stage with the soon-departed, and once-again-impeached, U.S. president. But Ut made clear he wasn’t deterred by the […]
In swiftness and extent, the hemorrhaging of Trump’s support was little short of remarkable. It is hard to think of any American politician, Nixon included, who has experienced such a precipitous and probably terminal collapse. In that sense, Trump was more Nixonian than Nixon.
Recent Posts: The 1995 Blog
It was the go-to search engine of the early Web, and it was launched on this date in 1995. The pioneer was Alta Vista, and its technology of using spiders to crawl and index the Web was an element of the gee-whiz marveling that sometimes greeted the unfolding digital landscape 25 years ago. Wired magazine […]
Twenty-five years ago today, in his closing argument at the sensational O.J. Simpson double-murder trial in Los Angeles, lead defense lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran stood before the jurors and urged them to keep this in mind: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Cochran was referring to the prosecution’s case against Simpson and, in particular, […]