News About The News: American Journalism In Peril

Book Reviews | Feb 19th, 2007

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Author: Leonard Downie Jr. and Robert
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Genre: Media
Pages: 320
Retail Price: 9.99
Buy on Amazon.com link

Downie and Kaiser, veteran reporters for the Washington Post, explain not only why American media focuses only on trivial local items, celebrities, crime, and sensationalism, but how that affects our culture by misinforming and misleading. Also, because of 24-hour cable news and the Internet, accuracy has been replaced with speedy coverage, and latching onto stories has created redundant, idiotic chatter and debate shows, instead of using the time for broader coverage.

The authors illuminate their points with countless (to the point of tedium) examples, but they also make a great case for improving journalism by convincing publishers that good journalism can sell. I hope publishers and editors closely read this book, because now with gossipy news blogs, annoying blurby tickers on cable news, and everyone trying to mimic Fox News’ success, journalism seems to slide further into laziness and mindless populism.

Bottom Line: How journalism became sloppy and moronic.
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