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Frasca, Ralph 1962-

Frasca, Ralph 1962-

PERSONAL:

Born November 22, 1962, in Trenton, NJ; son of Ralph and Rita Frasca; married, October 11, 2003; wife's name Clare (a homemaker); children: Matthew and James. Education: Utica College, B.A., 1984; Indiana University, M.A., 1986; University of Iowa, Ph.D., 1994. Religion: Catholic.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Lake Wylie, SC. Office—Belmont Abbey College, 100 Belmont-Mt. Holly Rd., Belmont, NC 28012. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Academician and journalist. Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, NC, coordinator and professor of mass communication, 2007—.

MEMBER:

Mensa, American Society of Newspaper Editors (fellow), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (head of the Religion and Media Interest Group), American Catholic Historical Association.

WRITINGS:

The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe, Susquehanna University Press (Selinsgrove, PA), 1992.

The Mexican-American War: American Wars and the Media in Primary Documents, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2005.

Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, SC), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Ralph Frasca is an American academician and journalist. Born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1962, Frasca earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1984 from Utica College. He later earned a master of arts degree from Indiana University two years after that and a Ph.D. in 1994 from the University of Iowa. Frasca became a professor of mass communication in 1990 and worked at several universities before becoming a coordinator and professor of mass communication at North Carolina's Belmont Abbey College.

Frasca's first book, The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe, was published in 1992 by Susquehanna University Press. Frasca chronicles the history of the first nationally circulated newspaper, Utica, New York's Saturday Globe. The newspaper started in 1881 and became an industry leader despite coming from a relatively isolated town in central New York. It was one of the first newspapers to employ regional editions to expand its coverage nationwide. The periodical also made prominent use of color illustrations.

Frasca published The Mexican-American War: American Wars and the Media in Primary Documents in 2005. Here he covers the United States' first war with a foreign nation during its long history of westward expansion. Frasca outlines how the telegraph became crucial in the reporting of the war during the time and for communication to and from the distant western territories. The quick means of reporting on the war and related events also posed new challenges for the military in controlling the dispersion of information. Frasca details the role of the U.S. military in censoring war reporting and the telegraph.

In 2006 Frasca published Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America, with the University of Missouri Press. The book looks at the business relationships and partnerships Franklin had with various printers and their significance in the development of the American press. Frasca also clarifies why Franklin set up these relationships, and how they were organized. Between 1720 and 1790, Franklin created the most successful and geographically expansive press network of the time, ranging from New England to the Caribbean. Franklin's network included significant printers of the American eighteenth century, such as James Parker, Francis Childs, Benjamin Mecom, Benjamin Franklin Bache, David Hall, and Anthony Armbruster. This network provided a boost to the economics of the industry in the American colonies and helped spur the rise of American journalism. According to Frasca, Franklin created the network to instill virtue in the American public and spread his own views of morality and virtue to a wide audience. Writing in Books & Culture, Allen C. Guelzo commented that the author "has undertaken a detailed analysis of Franklin's business strategy as a printer, and the result is a marvel, both of diligent research and of Franklin's fertile and opportunistic imagination."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Books & Culture, July 1, 2007, Allen C. Guelzo, review of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network: Disseminating Virtue in Early America, p. 24.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, October, 1993, Daniel I. Greenstein, review of The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe, p. 469.

Journalism History, spring, 1993, Jack Nolan, review of The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe.

Journalism Quarterly, spring, 1993, Catherine C. Mitchell, review of The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe.

Journal of American History, September, 1993, Daniel W. Pfaff, review of The Rise and Fall of the Saturday Globe, p. 698; December, 2006, Charles E. Clark, review of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network, p. 839.

Journal of the Early Republic, winter, 2006, Paul Gutjahr, review of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network.

Reference & Research Book News, May, 2006, review of Benjamin Franklin's Printing Network.

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