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'Challenges students to reexamine their beliefs about the news media, helping them to become more critical citizens. In doing this, the text engages students' attention in crucial developments in the media, in politics, and in the intersection of the two' - Paul R. Brewer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Recent content analysis shows that terrorism and international conflict - the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - have been the number one story of American news since 9/11. "The Pen and the Sword" is the first comprehensive review of how the news media have covered - and are covering - these momentous events. This coverage is used throughout the book to introduce and to illustrate a critical perspective on the mass media, examining contemporary issues of media economics, politics, and public opinion.