Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

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Pantheon Books, Jan 1, 1996 - Political Science - 296 pages
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Polls show that Americans from every political, racial, and economic group in the country are mad at the media, but members of the press claim this simply proves that they are doing their job: reporting the news without fear or favor. As James Fallows demonstrates in this razor-sharp indictment, not only is the press not doing "the job", it is actually getting in the way of Americans doing their jobs as citizens. Fallows details the ways in which the current style of news coverage engenders a sense of futility in the American public with regard to its ability to influence our society. Drawing on his own richly varied experience as a reporter and on scores of interviews with members of the print and broadcast media, he reveals how the reigning destructive practices evolved, and whose interests they serve. Outside the urban centers of media power, Fallows finds a new public-spirited approach to news coverage that is gathering passionate adherents while meeting fierce resistance from the media old guard. Breaking the News will ignite the increasingly heated debate over the role of the American media.

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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
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About the author (1996)

James Fallows is National Correspondent for "The Atlantic Monthly," and has worked for the magazine for more than twenty years. His previous books include "Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy," "Looking at the Sun," "More Like Us," and "National Defense," Fallows has been a regular commentator on NPR. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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