Automotive Holiday Deals Books Holiday Gift Guide Shop Men's Cyber Monday Deals Week Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Grocery Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer mithc mithc mithc  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Voyage Outdoor Deals on bgg

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $2.00 (13%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Breaking The News: How th... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is gently used in good or better condition. If it is a textbook it may not have supplements. It may have some moderate wear and possibly include previous ownerâ€TMs name, some markings and/or is a former library book. We ship within 1 business day and offer no hassle returns. Big Hearted Books shares its profits with schools, churches and non-profit groups throughout New England. Thank you for your support!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy Paperback – January 14, 1997

25 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$0.04 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$12.95 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy
  • +
  • What Is Happening to News: The Information Explosion and the Crisis in Journalism
  • +
  • Media Power in Politics
Total price: $92.57
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews Review

A lot of big-shot journalists didn't like this book, a systematic jeremiad about the current sad state of American political journalism. For instance, both the New York Times op-ed page and the New Yorker took pains to excoriate the book and its author--pretty good hints that Fallows is onto something. His point is that greed and intellectual sloth have fostered a political media elite that increasingly focuses on spin and ignores substance at the very time when solving the country's real problems requires all possible nuance. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring a new afterword, "Fallows's rousing jeremiad is an important beacon for everyone concerned about the news media's poor performance in helping the public make sane choices about the way we live, work and govern," said PW.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (January 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679758569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679758563
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #431,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Few authors are as capable of approaching the unenviable task of explaining the otherwise baffling devolution in both the content and context of the mass media's coverage of the news as brilliantly as is noted journalist James Fallows in this literate, scathing, and thought-provoking broadside against his fellow journalists and the organizations they work for. By illuminating the specific circumstances attending the startling transformation in terms of the way news is viewed and covered by the media, he consistently gives readers reason for concern, and often for alarm. For example, Fallows contends that the viewing public increasingly distrusts the media because the public recognizes they can no longer depend on the media to provide the essential information citizens need to make sense out of current events and the world at large.
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 ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Marks VINE VOICE on January 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Appalled at the biases, distortions and omissions in the media, which have been worsening since 9-11, I recently launched on a campaign of study in regard to learning about the deterioration of the media and the influence of corporate control - and what we can do to counter it. This is one of the best, most informative and most readable of the six books on the subject I've read. I can't emphasize enough how important it is, how much our corporate-run media influence political thinking, decisionmaking and voting and influence not only the outcome of elections but the agenda and actions of politicians - and how motivated we need to become in order to counter it, to become informed about political realities rather than propaganda and myth, and as a country, to become more of a democracy and less of a plutocracy. The biggest difficult we face is that the media itself is not likely to publicize its own corruption, and is actively blocking attempts of people concerned with these issues inform the public. I also highly recommend the books on media disinformation and reform by Robert McChesney, including his mini-books Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy and Our Media, Not Theirs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anne Grossman on August 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
Fallows does a great job of using simple language to convey the complex issues that introduce themself in political journalism. He is surely looking out for the best interests of the public and the values of American democracy in this text. Reading this book will make you a more conscientious citizen, voter, and newspaper reader. The facts that he reveals about journalism should be known by all, and he writes with genuine concern for the state of a fragile American democracy and tainted political journalism. I would reccomend it for both academic and entertainment purposes.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David B. Whittle on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I first met James Fallows online in the early '90s, and then in person several times. For a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard grad, he was surprisingly in touch with the realities I knew as a moderate Westerner living in the East. He was kind enough to give me a copy of Breaking the News, and I found it to be a great read. It offered new perspectives and excellent explanations on the sorry state of today's journalism, far beyond the traditional but simplistic explanation of "liberal bias." Jim's perspective truly transcends the partisan and raises issues above the divisive fray that almost tragically seems to divide our great country. Although critics may contend that Jim offers a liberal apologist's view that liberal bias is not the primary problem (or even much of a problem at all), even my friends who are staunch conservatives should find little to disagree with and much to learn in "Breaking the News."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 1997
Format: Paperback
Have you ever read a newspaper's coverage of an election and momentarily thought you were reading the baseball box scores instead of a serious examination of crucial issues and choices? Have you ever wondered less about how California Governor Pete Wilson's handling of the "immigration issue" affected his Presidential prospects than about just what the "immigration issue" was exactly? Have you ever wondered how you could have watched a zillion hours of network nightly news on the politics of health care during 1993 and 1994 and still have no clue why millions of American children remain uninsured in 1997? In short, do you really care how Newt pays back the darn fine and whether the terms of Dole's loan to him are "commercially reasonable?"
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 ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy
This item: Breaking The News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy
Price: $12.95
Ships from and sold by