Backstory : Inside the Business of News

3.55 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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It is said that journalism is a vital public service as well as a business, but more and more it is also said that big media consolidation; noisy, instant opinions on cable and the Internet; and political -bias- are making a mockery of such high-minded ideals. In Backstory, Ken Auletta explores why one of America's most important industries is also among its most troubled. He travels from the proud New York Times, the last outpost of old-school family ownership, whose own personnel problems make headline news, into the depths of New York City's brutal tabloid wars and out across the country to journalism's new wave, chains like the Chicago Tribune's, where -synergy- is ever more a mantra. He probes the moral ambiguity of -media personalities---journalists who become celebrities themselves, padding their incomes by schmoozing with Imus and rounding the lucrative corporate lecture circuit. He reckons with the legacy of journalism's past and the different prospects for its future, from fallen stars of new media such as to the rising star of cable news, Roger Ailes's Fox News. The product of more than ten years covering the news media for The New Yorker, Backstory is Journalism 101 by the course's master teacher.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 132.1 x 210.8 x 22.9mm | 294.84g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143034634
  • 9780143034636
  • 2,106,783

Review quote

As up-to-date as a cable news banner, "Backstory" is an invaluable guide to the most important players in our information age. (Walter Cronkite)
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About Ken Auletta

Ken Auletta has written the -Annals of Communications- column and profiles for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of eight books, including Three Blind Mice, Greed and Glory on Wall Street, and World War 3.0. In naming him America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, -No other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta.- He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.
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Table of contents

The Howell Doctrine
Demolition Man
Synergy City
New York's Tabliod Wars
The New York Times's Outward Bound Adventure
The Reporter Who Disappeared
Fee Speech
The Don
Gotcha: Canidates versus Press
Inside Out
Fox News: We Report. We Decide.
Family Business
Fortress Bush
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Rating details

60 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 15% (9)
4 42% (25)
3 30% (18)
2 10% (6)
1 3% (2)
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