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Backstory: Inside the Business of News

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Backstory: Inside the Business of News Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Howell Raines and the New York Times to Roger Ailes and Fox News, America's most celebrated media journalist dissects the people and institutions shaping media, for good and for ill, in a time of profound change.

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 Inside.com 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.

Review:

"By putting these articles together, Auletta provides a valuable perspective on how the pressures of business have affected how we read and watch the news." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Eye-opening for news consumers, and useful for journalists hoping to understand the changes sweeping the profession." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Auletta offers cogent analyses of the internal and external pressures reshaping American journalism." Vanessa Bush, Booklist

Review:

"Auletta delivers an unblinking view of the gray interface between the business of journalism and the ethics of reporting....Backstory is a timely release on an issue of national concern. And the writing is lively, too." Library Journal

Review:

"Ken Auletta is the thinking man's press critic, press historian, press observer, press guru. He brings his great knowledge, energy and authority to bear in Backstory. He is the best in the business. Period!" Ben Bradlee

Review:

"The basic calling of the journalist is to report today what will be tomorrow's history. None practices the craft with greater skill than Ken Auletta, and his specialty long has been the news media in all its forms — print, broadcast, cable and the Internet. In his latest book, the prolific Mr. Auletta takes us to the news industry's back rooms, where we meet some of the noted actors in dramatic confrontation as the business executives and the editorial side try to toe, not always successfully, the thin line between profit and journalistic ethics. Auletta's book is as up to date as a cable news banner and is an invaluable guide to the most important players in our information age." Walter Cronkite

Review:

"With his latest book, Ken Auletta reaffirms his position as our nation's leading chronicler and critic of the communications business — the liars and the truth seekers, the media moguls and the spin meisters, the old and the new. Auletta's work focuses our attention on what's so extraordinary about the news industry's transformation in recent times and what's so troubling." Gay Talese

Synopsis:

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 Inside.com 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.

About the Author

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."

Table of Contents

Backstory Introduction

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

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594200007
Subtitle:
Inside the Business of News
Author:
Auletta, Ken
Author:
Auletta, Ken A. J.
Author:
Ken Auletta
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
History
Subject:
Journalism
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to present)
Subject:
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series Volume:
vol. 4, no. 3.
Publication Date:
December 25, 2003
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.31x6.37x1.34 in. 1.31 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Journalism » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

Backstory: Inside the Business of News Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Penguin Press Hc - English 9781594200007 Reviews:
"Review" by , "By putting these articles together, Auletta provides a valuable perspective on how the pressures of business have affected how we read and watch the news."
"Review" by , "Eye-opening for news consumers, and useful for journalists hoping to understand the changes sweeping the profession."
"Review" by , "Auletta offers cogent analyses of the internal and external pressures reshaping American journalism."
"Review" by , "Auletta delivers an unblinking view of the gray interface between the business of journalism and the ethics of reporting....Backstory is a timely release on an issue of national concern. And the writing is lively, too."
"Review" by , "Ken Auletta is the thinking man's press critic, press historian, press observer, press guru. He brings his great knowledge, energy and authority to bear in Backstory. He is the best in the business. Period!"
"Review" by , "The basic calling of the journalist is to report today what will be tomorrow's history. None practices the craft with greater skill than Ken Auletta, and his specialty long has been the news media in all its forms — print, broadcast, cable and the Internet. In his latest book, the prolific Mr. Auletta takes us to the news industry's back rooms, where we meet some of the noted actors in dramatic confrontation as the business executives and the editorial side try to toe, not always successfully, the thin line between profit and journalistic ethics. Auletta's book is as up to date as a cable news banner and is an invaluable guide to the most important players in our information age."
"Review" by , "With his latest book, Ken Auletta reaffirms his position as our nation's leading chronicler and critic of the communications business — the liars and the truth seekers, the media moguls and the spin meisters, the old and the new. Auletta's work focuses our attention on what's so extraordinary about the news industry's transformation in recent times and what's so troubling."
"Synopsis" by ,

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 Inside.com 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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