Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload

Overview

Amid the hand-wringing over the death of "true journalism" in the Internet Age-the din of bloggers, the echo chamber of Twitter, the predominance of Wikipedia-veteran journalists and media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel have written a pragmatic guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ones created, and the very nature of knowledge has changed. But seeking the truth remains the purpose of journalism. How do we discern what is reliable? Blur ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.01
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$16.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.63   
  • Used (12) from $1.99   
Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$13.99 List Price

Overview

Amid the hand-wringing over the death of "true journalism" in the Internet Age-the din of bloggers, the echo chamber of Twitter, the predominance of Wikipedia-veteran journalists and media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel have written a pragmatic guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ones created, and the very nature of knowledge has changed. But seeking the truth remains the purpose of journalism. How do we discern what is reliable? Blur provides a road map, or more specifically, reveals the craft that has been used in newsrooms by the very best journalists for getting at the truth. In an age when the line between citizen and journalist is becoming increasingly unclear, Blur is a crucial guide for those who want to know what's true.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran journalists Kovach and Rosenstiel (The Elements of Journalism) begin their intelligent and well-written guidebook by assuring readers this is not unfamiliar territory. The printing press, the telegraph, radio, and television were once just as unsettling and disruptive as today's Internet, blogs, and Twitter posts. But the rules have changed. The gatekeepers of information are disappearing. Everyone must become editors assuming the responsibility for testing evidence and checking sources presented in news stories, deciding what's important to know, and whether the material is reliable and complete. Utilizing a set of systemic questions that the authors label "the way of skeptical knowing," Kovach and Rosenstiel provide a roadmap for maintaining a steady course through our messy media landscape. As the authors entertainingly define and deconstruct the journalism of verification, assertion, affirmation, and interest group news, readers gain the analytical skills necessary for understanding this new terrain. "The real information gap in the 21st century is not who has access to the Internet and who does not. It is the gap between people who have the skills to create knowledge and those who are simply in a process of affirming preconceptions without growing and learning." (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“The authors offer sound lessons on the 'tradecraft of verification' necessary for Americans to sort out truth from vested opinion... Kovach and Rosenstiel combine journalism and civics in this valuable and insightful resource to help Americans adapt to an era that demands that readers become their own editors and news aggregators.” —Booklist (starred) “Kovach and Rosenstiel provide a roadmap for maintaining a steady course through our messy media landscape. As the authors entertainingly define and deconstruct the journalism of verification, assertion, affirmation, and interest group news, readers gain the analytical skills necessary for understanding this new terrain.”—Publishers Weekly “Insightful... Offers step-by-step analysis of the processes by which the best journalists practice their craft and can have their work evaluated by consumers slogging their way through the mire of available information.”—Kirkus

Blur is an impassioned and practical brief for what its authors call ‘verification’—the effort by journalists and others who publicly exchange information about public affairs to examine evidence and test the truth value of the assertions they and others are making. It argues persuasively for the virtues of traditional journalism without in any way resisting the sweeping changes the Internet has brought to the profession. It’s hard to imagine a more urgently necessary task, for journalism and for democratic societies, than the one Kovach and Rosenstiel have taken on.”—Nicholas Lemann, Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

“Two trailblazing newspapermen make a powerful case that with information reaching us at warp speed, Americans can—and must—learn the tough-minded skepticism that drove the country’s great journalists. Kovach and Rosenstiel’s riveting, terse book shows how citizens can gauge fact from fiction, discern neutral sources from interested parties, and parse the news as American journalism goes through its big upheaval.”—Dean Baquet, Washington Bureau Chief, New York Times

“If I had $1 million I would buy a copy of this book for every high school senior in America. If I had $2 million, I would use the second million to offer cash incentives for every one of those high school seniors to read what might be the most important book they will read in their lives—the one volume that will help them evaluate everything else they read until the day they die.”—David M. Shribman, executive editor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“This is one of the most important books of the year. Rosenstiel and Kovach take today’s media landscape apart, examine each component—partisan blogs, social media, Web sites that follow the traditional  journalistic values, newspapers, networks and cable—and help us understand what they are, the pressures they bring on each other and how together they have changed forever how news is gathered and distributed. Always enlightening and at times scary as when they speculate on how the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident might have played out in the age of cable and the internet, this is a sobering but even handed analysis that should be valuable to all of us in journalism and the citizens we serve.”—Bob Schieffer, CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent

Library Journal
In an age of 24/7 online news coverage, many traditional standards of journalism, such as who counts as a journalist, objectivity, or a defined news cycle, are irrelevant. Breaking news stories are reported by all types of people before the facts are determined, and consumers are left to decide what is true. Media critics Kovach and Rosenstiel (coauthors, The Elements of Journalism) offer practical advice for analyzing journalistic content in this new media environment. They describe four types of news content: journalism of verification, reporting that values accuracy; journalism of assertion, passing along fast-breaking information with no verification; journalism of affirmation, presenting selective information to an audience with specific political affiliations; and interest-group journalism, offering news-type information but sponsored by a special-interest group. Identifying the type of content is the first step in what the authors describe as a skeptical way of knowing. They offer techniques for examining journalistic content for completeness, sourcing, use of evidence, and relevance. VERDICT This well-written critique of contemporary journalism will appeal to academics, journalism students, and consumers interested in the changes in the news media.—Judy Solberg, Seattle Univ. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews

An insightful but dry guide to the challenges of responsible journalism—and the citizenry it serves—amid the technological revolution of news and information.

This is a companion volume of sorts to the co-authors' The Elements of Journalism (2001), to which it often refers and for which it offers an update. Both Kovach and Rosenstiel are respected newspaper veterans, though their concern here is not with the survival of the print medium but with the principles that distinguish news of depth and value from finger-pointing opinion, special-interest propaganda and uninformed gossip. "The challenge for those who produce the news, and those who consume it," they write, "is to apply human values against the inherent bias of the technology." Since technology stresses speed, economy and quick hits over comprehensiveness and verification, readers must become savvier about where to look and whom to trust for the sort of public service that journalism has provided. "At the beginning of this century, it was forecast that more new information would be created in three years than had been created in the previous three hundred thousand years," write the authors, but they argue that the current shift in communication isn't dramatically more significant than previous ones (the written word, printing press, radio and television, etc.). The bulk of the text offers step-by-step analysis of the processes by which the best journalists practice their craft and can have their work evaluated by consumers slogging their way through the mire of available information. The book's major drawback is that the writing is too matter-of-fact, making the rare simile such as this all the more welcome: "In a sense, blogs are like muffins. They are a shape, but the batter that goes into it might run the gamut from chocolate cake to bran."

In building their case for the "Next Journalism," the authors might have offered a little more chocolate, a little less bran.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608193011
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 8/30/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 166,614
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

In his 50-year career, Bill Kovach has been chief of the New York Times Washington Bureau, served as editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and curated the Nieman Fellowships at Harvard University. He is founding chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists and senior counselor for the Project for Excellence in Journalism. In 2004, he was named to the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.

A journalist for more than 30 years, Tom Rosenstiel worked as chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek and as a media critic for the Los Angeles Times and MSNBC's The News With Brian Williams. His books include Strange Bedfellows and We Interrupt This Newscast. Rosenstiel is vice chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, and director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Together, Kovach and Rosenstiel have authored two books: The Elements of Journalism, winner of the 2002 Goldsmith Book Prize from Harvard University, and Warp Speed: America in the Age of Mixed Media.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 How to Know What to Believe Anymore 1

Chapter 2 We Have Been Here Before 12

Chapter 3 The Way of Skeptical Knowing: The Tradecraft of Verification 26

Chapter 4 Completeness: What Is Here and What Is Missing? 57

Chapter 5 Sources: Where Did This Come From? 74

Chapter 6 Evidence and the Journalism of Verification 94

Chapter 7 Assertion, Affirmation: Where's the Evidence? 121

Chapter 8 How to Find What Really Matters 170

Chapter 9 What We Need from the "Next Journalism" 170

Epilogue: The New Way of Knowing 198

Afterword 205

Appendix 211

Acknowledgments 215

Notes 217

Index 225

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent report on how journalism's shifting role changes your job as a news consumer

    With so much information available on the Internet, more news consumers are helping themselves to exactly the current events information they want, instead of letting the media determine what they see and hear. Average citizens can become better judges of the quality of the news reports they receive by practicing certain techniques that professional journalists use. These methods require the disciplined exercise of judgment, curiosity and skepticism. This illuminating book provides useful steps for identifying reliable journalists and news organizations, for instance, by evaluating their sources of information. Media veterans Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel illustrate many of their points with references to leading journalists and their reporting techniques. getAbstract recommends their instructive book to busy professionals seeking effective ways to stay informed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2010

    Perfect Holiday Gift for News Junkies

    The brand new book "BLUR -- How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload" is the perfect gift for anyone who cares about the news. It's a fascinating review of the new kinds of content we're all faced with in today's blurry mashup of news, ads and commentary. Well-respected journalists Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel tell us how to be active skeptics. BLUR makes the case that journalistic skills are more important than ever and that News Literacy should be taught more widely. Despite my training as a journalist and an attorney, I found the critical thinking skills in "BLUR" have made me a smarter and more proactive media consumer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)