Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

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Pantheon Books, Jan 1, 1996 - Political Science - 296 pages
14 Reviews
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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Review: Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

User Review  - Michael Jenkins - Goodreads

A bit dated in today's fast-paced news world, but useful nonetheless. Points out the multitudinous failings of our media, the detrimental effects of that on our political system and how it could improve. Read full review

Review: Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

User Review  - David Stephens - Goodreads

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the leaks of Edward Snowden recently—whether they were helpful or harmful—and within those debates, there has been even more discussion about what the ... Read full review


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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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