Backstory: Inside the Business of News

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Penguin, 2003 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 296 pages
3 Reviews
From Howell Raines and the New York Times to Roger Ailes and Fox News, America's most celebrated media journalist dissects the people and institutions shaping media, for good and for ill, in a time of profound change.

It is said that journalism is a vital public service as well as a business, but more and more it is also said that big media consolidation; noisy, instant opinions on cable and the Internet; and political "bias" are making a mockery of such high-minded ideals. In Backstory, Ken Auletta explores why one of America's most important industries is also among its most troubled. He travels from the proud New York Times, the last outpost of old-school family ownership, whose own personnel problems make headline news, into the depths of New York City's brutal tabloid wars and out across the country to journalism's new wave, chains like the Chicago Tribune's, where "synergy" is ever more a mantra. He probes the moral ambiguity of "media personalities"-journalists who become celebrities themselves, padding their incomes by schmoozing with Imus and rounding the lucrative corporate lecture circuit. He reckons with the legacy of journalism's past and the different prospects for its future, from fallen stars of new media such as Inside.com to the rising star of cable news, Roger Ailes's Fox News. The product of more than ten years covering the news media for The New Yorker, Backstory is Journalism 101 by the course's master teacher.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

The Amazon reviewer gave mixed opinions of this book. It IS a compilation over a number of years from the author's New Yorker articles on journalism (which continue)and some reviewers believed the ... Read full review

Backstory: inside the business of news

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Media critic for The New Yorker, Auletta (World War 3.0) here offers another tale of the corrosive effects of power and wealth on a profession-in this case, print and broadcast journalism. Auletta ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
DEMOLITION MAN
63
NEW YORKS TABLOID WARS
119
THE NEW YORK TIMESS OUTWARD BOUND ADVENTURE
141
THE REPORTER WHO DISAPPEARED
171
FEE SPEECH
185
THE DON
200
INSIDE OUT
233
WE REPORT WE DECIDE
249
Acknowledgments
281
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Ken Auletta has written the "Annals of Communications" column and profiles for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including Three Blind Mice, Greed and Glory on Wall Street, and World War 3.0. In naming him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, "No other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta."

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