The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What's Right and Wrong with the Press

The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What's Right and Wrong with the Press

The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What's Right and Wrong with the Press

The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What's Right and Wrong with the Press

Synopsis

Since the last edition of The Troubles of Journalism, many significant challenges have occurred in the media: the events of September 11, the war on terrorism, mergers and consolidation of media ownership, new concerns about press credibility, the expanding and controversial role of cable news channels, the growing impact role of news and comment on the Internet, and continuing globalization and controversy over the role of American media in international communications. To do justice to these recent troubles of the news media, important additions and modifications have been made in every chapter. This book looks at criticisms of the journalism profession and evaluates some of the changes in journalism--both positive and negative. In addition, it suggests what they may have meant for this nation and indeed for the world at large because American journalism--its methods and standards--has markedly influenced the way many millions overseas receive news and view their world. Based on a 50-year involvement with newspapers and journalism education, The Troubles of Journalism is appropriate for upper-level undergraduate courses in journalism and media criticism.

Excerpt

The second edition of The Troubles of Journalism came out in early 2001 before the seismic events of September 11th and subsequent upheavals in American life. The U.S. news media, in what critics considered their finest hour, magnificently reported this historic event.

Confronted with a war on terrorism, the American press now has a slightly different and perhaps more serious perception of itself and how it should serve the American public. Some matters that before were considered important are no longer so pressing; in other ways, the news media probably have changed little—certainly less than media critics had hoped.

Since 9/11, the nation has been “at war” with terrorism but Americans cannot agree what kind of war and who indeed are the enemies of America and other Western nations. Some say the enemy is Islamic fascism or totalitarianism, but others here and in Europe are not so sure. Does this amorphous and vague “war” constitute a very real threat to American lives or is it more of a threat to the American way of life and its freedoms (including press freedom), constitutional protections, and our values because of the ways the war has been conducted?

These are some of the matters the press must deal with in this asymmetrical war against an elusive and shadowy opponent. One journalist probably overstated the challenges of defending the “homeland” when he said, “Now we are all war corespondents.”

In the months after Sept. 11, 2001, the news media responded to three historic, interrelated challenges—the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC, a prolonged war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and a full-scale war against Iraq with its continuing and unresolved aftermath. The pluses and minuses of uneven media performance since 9/11 need to be analyzed.

Other significant recent challenges to the media have involved (a) continuing mergers and consolidation of media ownership; (b) new concerns about press credibility and bias, as exemplified by The New York Times’ ordeal over Jayson Blair; (c) the expanding and controversial role of cable news channels; (d) the growing impact role of news and comment on the Internet; and (e) continuing globalization and controversy over the role of American media in international communications.

To do justice to these recent “troubles” of the news media, important additions and modifications have been made in every chapter of this revised edition.

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