What were the best journalistic stories of the American 20th century? This list was selected by Madeleine Blais, Alan Brinkley, David Brinkley, Lydia Chavez, Karen Durbin, Clay Felker, Jeff Greenfield, Pete Hamill, Mary McGrory, Nancy Maynard, Eric Newton, Dorothy Rabinowitz, Gene Roberts, Morley Safer, David Shaw, George Will, Ben Yagoda and the New York University Journalism faculty. The list was released in March, 1999.

There were 270 nominations for this list. The judges based their decisions on the work's impact, the magnitude of the event being reported on, and the quality of the writing.

Top 100 Works of Journalism In the United States In the 20th Century

  1. John Hersey -- Hiroshima, 1946
  2. Rachel Carson -- Silent Spring, 1962
  3. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein -- Watergate investigations for the Washington Post, 1972-73
  4. Edward R. Murrow -- This is London...radio reports for CBS on the German bombing of London, 1940
  5. Ida Tarbell -- The History of the Standard Oil Company, 1902-1904
  6. Lincoln Steffens -- The Shame of the Cities, 1902-1904
  7. John Reed -- Ten Days That Shook the World, 1919
  8. H.L. Mencken Coverage of the Scopes monkey trial, 1925
  9. Ernie Pyle Reports from Europe and the Pacific during World War II, 1940-45
  10. Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly -- See It Now documentary on Senator Joseph McCarthy, 1954
  11. Edward R. Murrow, David Lowe and Fred Friendly -- Harvest of Shame, 1960
  12. Seymour Hersh -- Investigation My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, 1969
  13. New York Times -- Publication of the Pentagon Papers, 1971
  14. James Agee and Walker Evans -- Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 1941
  15. W.E.B. DuBois -- The Souls of Black Folk, 1903
  16. I.F. Stone -- Stone’s Weekly, 1953-67
  17. Henry Hampton -- Eyes on the Prize, 1987
  18. Tom Wolfe -- Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, 1968
  19. Norman Mailer -- The Armies of the Night, 1968
  20. Hannah Arendt -- Eichmann in Jerusalem, 1963
  21. William Shirer -- Berlin Diary, 1939-1941
  22. Truman Capote -- In Cold Blood, 1965
  23. Joan Didion -- Slouching Towards Bethlehem, 1968
  24. Tom Wolfe -- The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, 1965
  25. Michael Herr -- Dispatches, 1977
  26. Theodore White -- The Making of the President: 1960, 1961
  27. Robert Capa -- Ten photographs from D-Day, 1944
  28. J. Anthony Lukas -- Common Ground, 1985
  29. Richard Harding Davis -- Coverage of German march into Belgium, 1914
  30. Dorothy Thompson -- Reports on the rise of Hitler in Cosmopolitan and The Saturday Evening Post, 1931-34
  31. John Steinbeck -- Reports on Okie migrant camp life for the San Francisco News, 1936
  32. A.J. Liebling -- The Road Back to Paris, 1944
  33. Ernest Hemingway -- Journalistic reports on the Spanish Civil War, 1937-38
  34. Martha Gellhorn -- The Face of War, 1959
  35. James Baldwin -- The Fire Next Time, 1963
  36. Joseph Mitchell -- Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories, 1992
  37. Betty Friedan -- The Feminine Mystique, 1963
  38. Ralph Nader -- Unsafe at Any Speed, 1965
  39. Herblock -- Political cartoons, 1950
  40. James Baldwin -- Letter from the South: Nobody Knows My Name, 1959
  41. Huyn Cong Ut -- Photograph of a burning girl running from a napalm attack, 1972
  42. Pauline Kael -- Trash, Art, and the Movies, 1969
  43. Gay Talese -- Fame and Obscurity, 1970
  44. Randy Shilts -- Reporting on AIDS, 1981-85
  45. Janet Flanner -- Paris Journals in The New Yorker, 1944-45
  46. Neil Sheehan -- A Bright Shining Lie, 1988
  47. A.J. Liebling -- The Wayward Pressman, 1947
  48. Tom Wolfe -- The Right Stuff, 1979
  49. Murray Kempton -- America Comes of Middle Age, 1950-1962
  50. Murray Kempton -- Part of Our Time, 1955
  51. Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele -- America: What Went Wrong, 1991
  52. Taylor Branch -- Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63
  53. Harrison Salisbury -- Reporting from the Soviet Union for The New York Times, 1949-54
  54. John McPhee -- The John McPhee Reader, 1976
  55. ABC -- Live broadcast of Army-McCarthy hearings, 1954
  56. Frederick Wiseman -- Titicut Follies, 1967
  57. David Remnick -- Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, 1993
  58. Richard Ben Cramer -- What It Takes: The Way to the White House, 1992
  59. Jonathan Schell -- The Fate of the Earth, 1982
  60. Russell Baker -- Franks and Beans, in The New York Times, 1975
  61. Homer Bigart -- account on the end of World War II in the New York Herald-Tribune, 1945
  62. Ben Hecht -- 1001 Afternoons in Chicago, 1922
  63. Walter Cronkite -- Documentary on Vietnam, 1968
  64. Walter Lippmann -- Early essays for The New Republic, 1914
  65. Margaret Bourke-White -- Photographs for Lifemagazine following the defeat of Germany, 1945
  66. Lillian Ross -- Reporting, 1964
  67. Nicholas Lemann -- The Promised Land, 1991
  68. Joe Rosenthal -- Photograph of Marines raising a U.S. flag on Iwo Jima, 1945
  69. Hodding Carter, Jr -- Go for Broke, 1945
  70. The New Yorker -- The New Yorker Book of War Pieces, 1947
  71. Meyer Berger -- Report on killings of Howard Unruh in The New York Times, 1949
  72. Norman Mailer -- The Executioner’s Song, 1979
  73. Robert Capa -- Spanish Civil War photos for Life, 1936
  74. Susan Sontag -- Notes on Camp, 1964
  75. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein -- All the President’s Men, 1974
  76. John Hersey -- Here To Stay, 1963
  77. A.J. Liebling -- The Earl of Louisiana, 1961
  78. Mike Davis -- City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles, 1990
  79. Melissa Fay Greene -- Praying for Sheetrock, 1991
  80. J. Anthony Lukas -- The Two Worlds of Linda Fitzpatrick, 1967
  81. Herbert Bayard Swope -- Klan Exposed, 1921
  82. William Allen White -- To an Anxious Friend, 1922
  83. Edward R. Murrow -- Report of the liberation of Buchenwald, 1945
  84. Joseph Mitchell -- McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon, 1943
  85. Lillian Ross -- Picture, 1952
  86. Earl Brown -- Series of articles on race for Harper’s and Life magazines , 1942-44
  87. Greil Marcus -- Mystery Train, 1975
  88. Morley Safer -- Report for CBS on the hamlet of Cam Ne in Vietnam, 1965
  89. Ted Poston -- Coverage of the Little Scottsboro trial, 1949
  90. Leon Dash -- Rosa Lee’s Story in The Washington Post, 1994
  91. Jane Kramer -- The Europeans, 1988
  92. Eddie Adams and Vo Suu -- Photograph of a Saigon execution, 1968
  93. Grantland Rice -- Notre Dame’s ‘Four Horsemen’, 1924
  94. Jane Kramer -- The Politics of Memory, 1996
  95. Frank McCourt -- Angela’s Ashes, 1996
  96. Vincent Sheean -- Personal History, 1935
  97. W.E.B. DuBois -- Columns on race during his tenure as editor of The Crisis, 1910-34
  98. Damon Runyon -- Crime reporting, 1926
  99. Joe McGinniss -- The Selling of the President 1968, 1969
  100. Hunter S. Thompson -- Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 1973

Sources:
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Top%20100%20nominations%20page.htm
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Top%20100%20page.htm
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/stephens/Top%20100%20-%20German%20page.htm

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