From Publishers Weekly
In this uneven yet illuminating anthology, editor Borjesson succinctly explains the journalist's predicament: "The buzzsaw is what can rip through you when you try to investigate or expose anything this country's large institutions be they corporate or government want kept under wraps." Indeed, if members of the general public read this book, or even portions of it, they will be appalled. To the uninitiated reader, the accounts of what goes on behind the scenes at major news organizations are shocking. Executives regularly squelch legitimate stories that will lower their ratings, upset their advertisers or miff their investors. Unfortunately, this dirt is unlikely to reach unknowing news audiences, as this volume's likely readership is already familiar with the current state of journalism. Here, Murrow Award-winning reporter Borjesson edits essays by journalists from the Associated Press to CBS News to the New York Times. Each tells of their difficulties with news higher-ups as they tried to publish or air controversial stories relating to everything from toxic dump sites and civilian casualties to police brutality and dangerous hospitals. Some, like BBC reporter Greg Palast's, are merely rants against "corporate" journalism, but others, like New York Observer columnist Philip Weiss's, will serve as meaningful lessons to nascent and veteran writers alike. Most of the sentiments here are especially relevant given the current reports of the war in Afghanistan and questions of their validity, making this timely and essential reading for students and scholars of journalism. (Mar.)Forecast: With Bernard Goldberg's Bias riding high on bestseller lists, Borjesson's offering on news media manipulation is bound to attract serious attention and sales.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School - For this edition, three of the original essays were removed and four new ones added. Many others have been updated, making the book even more pertinent and timely, notably with Michael Levine's contribution on the nation's drug war and Jane Akre's account of her legal battle with Rupert Murdoch over the broadcast of her story on Monsanto's bovine hormone. Each of the new chapters documents how journalists have experienced increased censorship in the aftermath of September 11th: Dan Rather speaks frankly of the pressure to report "friendly" news or risk being labeled unpatriotic; Charles Reina, formerly of Fox News, reveals the existence of "The Memo," a daily Bush-era e-mail "addressing what stories [would] be covered" and how; and MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield relates how her candid, extemporaneous personal observations on media coverage of the Middle East (given in a lecture at Kansas State University) drew the ire of corporate executives. Most disturbing is Charlotte Dennett's analysis of how the media "missed the context" between the Bush administration's war on terror and "the Great Game for oil." In her new introduction, Borjesson notes that the current state of American journalism makes it even more important that the work of investigative journalists and media critics be unreservedly and widely disseminated. As before, Buzzsaw
provides a vital perspective on the First Amendment right to a free press and its endangered status today. - Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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