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From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News (Media and Power) 1st Edition

2.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1594515545
ISBN-10: 1594515549
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Editorial Reviews


Geoffrey Baym is the Jon Stewart of journalism studies (though not as funny): If you want to see the emerging shape of television journalism, watch The Daily Show. If you want to understand its roots, significance and potential for invigorating democracy, read From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News. --Michael X. Delli Carpini, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

This is a finely detailed and highly readable analysis of how the nightly news squandered its trust with the American people, and why political comedy may get closer to the truth of many important stories. --W. Lance Bennett, Director, Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, University of Washington-Seattle

About the Author

Geoffrey Baym is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on the changing styles and standards of news media and political discourse. He has worked as a newswriter, reporter, and researcher for media outlets such as the CBS Network News, KSL Television in Salt Lake City, and the Tucson Citizen.

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Product Details

  • Series: Media and Power
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (August 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594515549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594515545
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #924,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"From Cronkite to Colbert" is a fascinating study of the slow evolution of television news. Ironically, I read it as my exasperation with current news program structures and journalistic coverage of stories kept gnawing at me. Why did I keep finding myself turning to C-Span or "The Daily Show" for my news? Why were pundits' opinions coming in the guise of news? I hadn't realized it, but the erosion of reliable, credible news coverage was intentional and insidious. This book provided numerous "ah ha!" moments for me.

Dr. Baym's choice of CBS News as a research subject represents the ever-changing face of television journalism. By focusing on the iconic Walter Cronkite's reliability to Dan Rather's fall from grace, the book provides evidence of symptomatic problems within television news. Thankfully, the author stayed aligned to his research mission, and did not turn the book into tangential arguments. The changes at CBS News are representational, but certainly not all inclusive of both cable and broadcast news. However, by maintaining a focus on one network, the readers may be inclined to think about the changes in other network news programs as well. For instance, it can be argued that from Huntley and Brinkley (contemporaries of Walter Cronkite) to Brian Williams on NBC, numerous parallels are evident with CBS.

What I find most compelling is the author's observation of how both "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" have, through the use of satire, returned us to the age of reliable, investigative journalism. Though Stewart calls his show "Fake News," "The Daily Show" actually holds a mirror up to our perception of current events.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I worked in the industry so I expected it to be fun and insightful reading. But, either it was a doctoral thesis or should have been. It took determined, dogged reading to understand the premises and just get through it. But if one can perservere through the trenches, it has some very intelligent insights and interesting and justifiable theories. It achieves the same thing as TV news itself, judged by the masses who want to be entertained and invigorated every second: it's a dull and boring narrative of a subject that could be enlightening and thought-provoking.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed it for class but it was a good read about the history of news.
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