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Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy Paperback – January 14, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a carefully constructed look at how this has happened, Fallows masterfully describes how several aspects of media's coverage of the news has had the net effect of its become more of an effort to entertain and less an exercise in edifying and informing the public in an objective and disinterested fashion. As a result, the media increasingly presents public life in terms of a "depressing spectacle" rather than in its proper context as one of several vital aspects of a vibrant democratic experiment in progress. By concentrating almost exclusively on those more entertaining elements of the news involves conflict or controversy, the media offers us a glossy, superficial and profoundly inaccurate perspective of the often intricately complicated world outside our doors, and in the process makes the world even less comprehensible to those of us attempting to make sense of it all.Read more ›
James Fallows's "Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy" is a penetrating, cogent, and persuasive critique of the sorry state of American journalism in the mid-1990s. Fallows makes a convincing case for the proposition that the cynicism and detachment that the mainstream media so pride themselves on have not only devalued the quality of their journalism but have made it more difficult for Americans and their political leaders to deal constructively health care, entitlements, education, and the array of social issues demanding serious attention. In their relentless and superficial approach on the political spin of every issue--instead of its meaning to our lives--the media have actually harmed democracy by alienating the public from habits of democratic participation. Moving beyond mere criticism, Fallows advocates a "civic journalism" in which the media educate the citizenry and promote enthusiasm about involvement in public affairs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
written in '96 the book is still very good at explaining why the news media are failing to help the public know the truth about how our society works or does not work.Published 17 months ago by terence m. mcnay
Outstanding journalist James Fallows wrote this biting critique of the Press in 1996 - yet it is more than ever relevant. An example of a prophet crying in the wilderness. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Simone Signoret
I have no interest in the vitriol mongers who feed preconceived notions. No interest in the former insiders who might have an axe to grind. Read morePublished on August 7, 2011 by M. Lee
uses examples that are easy to follow and a clear writing style. It is for anyone who has a interest in the world of media.Published on December 7, 2009 by T.L.Walker
James Fallows' "Breaking the News" is especially timely considering the challenges currently facing the news media. Read morePublished on September 5, 2009 by Cleve Mathews
The mainstream media reports on important topics all the time. If the issues are important you have to wonder why it is so boring and seems so irrelevant? Read morePublished on May 10, 2008 by railmeat
The author has done a superb job of researching this treatise on a media out of control. Many we illustrative examples are given to prove the author's point and the writing style... Read morePublished on November 24, 2006 by Michael A. Newman
Fallows is very smart and an excellent writer. This book is very good but I do not believe it to be his best work. Read morePublished on March 8, 2006 by george
The book Breaking The News:How the Media Undermine American Democracy by James Fallows is a well written book. Read morePublished on March 25, 2004