ISBN is

978-0-375-40874-8 / 0375408746

The News About the News: American Journalism in Peril

by Downie Jr., Leonard

Publisher:Knopf

Edition:Hardcover

Language:English

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About the book:

From two of Americas most prominent and accomplished journalists, an impassioned investigation of an endangered species, good journalism.

Leonard Downie Jr. and Robert G. Kaiserboth reporters and editors at the Washington Post for nearly four decadestake us inside the American news media to reveal why the journalism we watch and read is so often so bad, and to explain what can be done about it.

They demonstrate how the medias preoccupation with celebrities, entertainment, sensationalism and profits can make a mockery of news. They remind us of the value of serious journalism with inside accounts of how great stories were reported and writtena New York Times investigation of Scientology and the IRS, and a Washington Post exposť of police excesses. They recount a tense debate inside their own newsroom about whether to publicize a presidential candidates long-ago love affair.

They also provide surprisingly candid interviews with Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw. The authors explain why local television news is so uninformative. They evaluate news on the Internet, noting how unreliable it can be, and why it is so important to the future of the news business.

Coverage of the terrorist attacks on America in the fall of 2001 demonstrated that the news media can still do outstanding work, Downie and Kaiser write, but that does not guarantee a bright future for news. Their book makes exceedingly clear why serious, incorruptible, revelatory reporting is crucial to the health of American society if we are to be informed, equipped to make decisions and protected from the abuse of power. And it allows all of us to feel like insiders in one of Americas most powerful institutions, the media.

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