Going Live: Getting the News Right in a Real-Time, Online World

Article excerpt

Going Live: Getting the News Right in a Real-Time, Online World. Phillip Sieb. Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2001. 197 pp. $24.95 hbk.

A paragraph in the preface to Going Live summarizes the book's premise: "Going live is exciting and dramatic. But is it good journalism? With live coverage now feasible from virtually anywhere at any time, drama and excitement may overwhelm news judgment. Taste and common sense may be pushed aside in the rush to get on the air fast. The scrupulous allegiance to accuracy that should be the cornerstone of journalism is sometimes ignored because 'there just isn't time' to check facts."

Going Live does a good job of covering the ethical issues facing twenty-first-century journalism. However, it also manages to give the reader a good dose of journalism history as well as a great deal of solid information about the online news business.

Author Phillip Sieb discusses what the traditional media at both the local and national levels are doing on the Web with their news operations. He also does a good job of covering the business and advertising sides of the operations.

The book is written for professional journalists, media scholars, and journalism students trying to figure out where the profession is going. The book should be required reading in all college online journalism classes. Sieb, the Lucius W. Nieman professor of journalism at Marquette University, chronicles the history and impact live journalism has had on the nation and individual communities. He mentions Edward R. Murrow in London in World War II. He talks about the JFK assassination, funeral, and related events. He discusses the impact a local TV station had in the Jonesboro, Arkansas, school-shooting incident.

He also takes ajab at some of the excesses of the media in their attempts to get the news first: local car chases and hostage situations and the President Clinton-Monica Lewinksy saga ("newsworthiness mixed with salaciousness"). …


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