Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

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Vintage Books, 1997 - Political Science - 337 pages
Why do Americans mistrust the news media? It may be because shows like The McLaughlin Group reduce participating journalists to so many shouting heads. Or because, increasingly, the profession treats issues as complex as health-care reform and foreign policy as exercises in political gamesmanship. Or because muckrakers have given way to "buckrakers" who command huge fees lecturing to the very interest groups they are supposed to cover. These are just some of the arguments that have made Breaking the News so controversial and so widely acclaimed. Drawing on his own experience as a National Book Award-winning journalist - and on the gaffes of colleagues from George Will to Cokie Roberts - Fallows shows why the media have not only lost our respect but alienated us from our public life. Moving from rigorous analysis to concrete proposals, the result is a devastating critique that is indispensable for anyone who makes the news - and anyone who reads or watches it.

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User Review  - lorin - LibraryThing

his book is a devastating critique of American media. Fallows describe how and why the media fails to effectively c...onvey useful information to the public it is supposed to serve. Although the book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lingjun.shen - LibraryThing

Completely infuriating if frustratingly true. I kept having to put this down and my copy is all torn up from where I threw it across the room, shouting and claiming that everybody loves using the media as a punching bag. Important; but hypertension-inducing. Read full review


Why We Hate the Media
What Changed
The Gravy Train

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About the author (1997)

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has reported from around the world and has worked in software design at Microsoft, as the editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter. He is currently a news analyst for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and a visiting professor at the University of Sydney.

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