- Hardcover: 392 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books (March 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573929727
- ISBN-13: 978-1573929721
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press Hardcover – March 1, 2002
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins
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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.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-The buzzsaw, explains Borjesson, is what journalists encounter when they attempt to reveal information that the nation's "large institutions-be they corporate or government-" prefer to keep secret. She presents 18 firsthand accounts by authors and print and television producers and reporters who challenged the media structure, often with devastating results to their careers. While Borjesson's and David Hendrix's narratives on the 1996 TWA Flight 800 disaster alone are worth the price of the book, other contributors chronicle their experiences with everything from books suppressed by the publishing industry to drug-war "shills" (those hoping to convince an audience that the "game is honest") to Bobby Garwood, who spent 14 years as a POW in Vietnam. Self-censorship is rife, they say, forcing limits on what constitutes news and whose voice is being heard. This desperate state of modern journalism relates directly to the fact that while good investigative reporting demands time, money, and risk, news executives are more concerned with profitability. Suggested reforms include providing "news that matters" and a return to the First Amendment's promise of a "free press." Many of the essays are blunt; all are provocative, substantiated by examples and evidence. The issues each one raises should spark lively debates in journalism and government classes and stimulate the critical thinking of news consumers. A brief biography and photograph of the contributor prefaces each chapter.
Dori DeSpain, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Significant stories by investigative reporters do not always reach the air or find their way into print; some of them get caught in "the buzzsaw" that rips through both their reporting and their reputations. Borjesson, an Emmy Award-winning reporter, pulls together 18 essays written by journalists who have either personally experienced this buzzsaw or who have closely observed the media industry. Her own reporting on TWA Flight 800 for CBS made her a target of the FBI, who interfered with her investigative work. She was harassed, her computer and reporter's notebook were stolen, and in the end CBS fired her. The experience changed her perception of the media establishment. Her colleagues here detail accounts of their own buzzsaw encounters covering such stories as Florida's voting in the recent presidential election, Tailwind, a massacre during the Korean War, and CIA involvement with the drug trade. A biographical sketch precedes each piece. This book would have benefited from a more substantial introduction to provide adequate context, but Robert McChesney's closing essay on the history of professional journalism does underscore the fragile state of reporting. Recommended for all academic journalism collections and public libraries where media books circulate well. Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ. Lib., Washington, DC
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Award-winning journalists reveal the disturbing fact that the press in the U.S. isn't as free as the public would like to believe. Nearly two dozen reporters, at some risk to their careers, disclose run-ins with corporate or government powers-that-be which have prompted them to reevaluate the significance of journalism in a free and open society. Greg Palast, an American working for the Guardian in Britain, recounts his paper's investigation of voting irregularities in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, long before the lethargic U.S. press took up the story. Borjesson, an independent producer and the editor of this collection, recalls efforts to disclose the cause of the explosion of TWA Flight 800 in New York in 1996. Jake Akre, a television reporter, recounts actions taken by milk producers to thwart a report on the questionable quality of milk from cows fed with growth hormones. These reporters see a troubling trend toward self-censorship as more of their colleagues fear reprisals for the content of their reporting. This is a disturbing but fascinating collection that will appeal to readers interested in the media. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
". . . a disturbing read . . . so riveting it's hard to put down." -- Nexus New Times, September/October 2003
"...a warning signal about the evisceration of mainstream news media in this country." -- Entertainment Today
"...reads like a guide to censorship in all its many, creative, and reprehensible forms." -- International Socialist Review, September-October 2002
"...takes a bold and unprecedented step toward media accountability." -- Columbus Alive
"...very useful as a class text." -- Journal of Communication Inquiry, October 2003
"All these pieces are interesting, and a couple are fascinating...some of this material is alarming..." -- New York Review of Books
"Read this book to understand twisted news and the black hole into which the truth flows." -- The American Reporter, October 12, 2003
"This book will likely make you very angry, but perhaps that is the only way things will change." -- About.com
"accounts of how the America's free press isn't all that free...trenchant look at the current state of the media." -- Daily News
"full of shameful instances where keepers of the journalism flame have closed ranks to shout down the works of mavericks." -- Reason, December 2002
From the Publisher
Into the Buzzsaw won the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the most extraordinary titles of 2002.
From the Inside Flap
Here for the first time in the history of American journalism, almost two dozen award-winning print and TV journalists have collaborated to produce a book of devastating essays about the dangerous state of American journalism today. Writing in riveting, often gut-wrenching detail about their personal experiences with the "buzzsaw"--concerted corporate and/or government efforts to kill their controversial stories and their careers--the contributors to INTO THE BUZZSAW reveal the awesome depth and breadth of censorship in America today. Their essays portray a press corps that regularly engages in self-censorship and attacks reporters who come under fire for not doing so. They describe a Fourth Estate that has largely relinquished its watchdog role and that has been coopted by corporate and government powers. The bigger picture is that of a press actively contributing to the demise of democracy in America.
Collectively, these essays paint a picture that is as vivid and shocking as it is utterly credible. Riveting first-person accounts detail what these investigative reporters risked and what they uncovered about the government's investigation into the crash of TWA Flight 800; the CIA's involvement in the War on Drugs; the U.S. military's efforts to cover up the massacre of hundreds of civilians during the Korean War, and the conspiracy to court-martial a returning POW from Vietnam; the writing on the wall foreshadowing the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001; and much, much more.
If you want to know what's really going on in our nation's corridors of power, or if you read or watch the news on a regular basis, this book is indispensable. One thing is certain: after finishing INTO THE BUZZSAW, you will never again see or hear the news in the same way.
About the Author
Kristina Borjesson, an Emmy and Murrow Award-winning investigative reporter, has worked for CBS and CNN.
60 customer reviews
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"It is so important to understand that one of the primary means of immobilizing the American people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion and which anything can be believed but nothing can be known, nothing of significance, that is. And the American people are more than willing to be held in this state because to know the truth-as opposed to only believe the truth-is to face an awful terror and to be no longer able to evade responsibility. It is precisely in moving from belief to knowledge that the citizen moves from irresponsibility to responsibility..." (E. Martin Schotz )
This outstanding and emotionally disturbing publication is proof the MSM can't tell you the truth as these reporters will be thrown to the buzzsaw if they try.
At least in Russia, Americans and Russians alike know the news platforms from Russia is state sponsored but Americans have been played about our national news process here in America and one example can point to Robert Mueller. He was the head man in charge of the FBI on 9/11 and he actually reported to America there was no forewarning about what would happen that day. And now, this same dude was somehow given fake authority to undermine the leader of this nation. There's been a lot of really jacked up things going on in this nation and it's been going on way before Donald Trump was on the scene and this book proves it. .
I most strongly recommend this publication for the discovery of state crimes against democracy.
It contains many stories of how the important and pertinent truth of the behind the scenes stories are suppressed, ignored and distorted. It is a disturbing expose' of the news media. I have always been a flag waving republican who defended "the American Way" when confronted by nut-cases who tried to tell me that our government and media were not being totally honest and completely forthright with me. My eyes however have recently been slowly opening to the truth of that, so I decided to get this book. It was more troubling than I expected. For instance I thought FOX News was one of the very few good-guys left trying to do what "the main stream media" refuses to do. After reading Jane Akre's story of how she, as an investigative reporter, took on Monsanto on their "hormone" rBGH given to cows to make them "milking machines" and what happened to her, I am more disappointed in FOX than I can say. She, and the other authors in this book are very brave people. And I would say, are among the few that still have some integrity left in the news world. That is not to say that the rest of the news organizations are not called out, they are.
That being said, I do not necessarily agree with all of their conclusions or perspectives but I do not question their honesty. The selection of the stories in this book does come across to me to be in the greater part, an anti-republican perspective. The instances seem to focus on the political world of the republican administrations. That is not to say that there is bias or any slant in the stories themselves just that I am sure that there are just as many instances of deliberate misconduct in both political environments.
I still stubbornly hope that through these kinds of informative books, the truth will win out and America will wake up and demand honest leadership in our media and politicians. We should value those that speak truth to power and I believe that most Americans still do. The stories in this book demonstrate that hope springs eternal because I sense that the authors are telling their stories because they still, after all of their difficulties, believe in our country, the first amendment of our constitution and continue to hope that liberty and truth will somehow prevail...against all odds.