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Authors: Howard Husock
Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1988
Length: 42 pages
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Abstract

The Iran hostage crisis of 1979-80 drew an unprecedented amount of press coverage in the US, especially from the major networks, which devoted a third of their time to the hostage story during the first six months. Of the three networks, ABC covered it most extensively, creating an entirely new program called 'The Crisis in Iran: America Held Hostage', aired nightly at 11:30. The popularity of this program led ABC to pilot the late night news program Nightline in the spring of 1980. The case tells the inside story of ABC's coverage - from the embassy seizure in November 1979 through the doomed rescue attempt the following April. It begins with a description of the news philosophy of ABC's dynamic news president, Roone Arledge, then moves through the events of the hostage crisis, interspersing ABC's story with the reactions of various observers at the time. Interviews with Carter administration press representatives Hodding Carter and Jody Powell also provide a sense of the White House's reaction to the saturation of television coverage.

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Abstract

The Iran hostage crisis of 1979-80 drew an unprecedented amount of press coverage in the US, especially from the major networks, which devoted a third of their time to the hostage story during the first six months. Of the three networks, ABC covered it most extensively, creating an entirely new program called 'The Crisis in Iran: America Held Hostage', aired nightly at 11:30. The popularity of this program led ABC to pilot the late night news program Nightline in the spring of 1980. The case tells the inside story of ABC's coverage - from the embassy seizure in November 1979 through the doomed rescue attempt the following April. It begins with a description of the news philosophy of ABC's dynamic news president, Roone Arledge, then moves through the events of the hostage crisis, interspersing ABC's story with the reactions of various observers at the time. Interviews with Carter administration press representatives Hodding Carter and Jody Powell also provide a sense of the White House's reaction to the saturation of television coverage.

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