Breach of Faith: A Crisis of Coverage in the Age of Corporate Newspapering

Breach of Faith: A Crisis of Coverage in the Age of Corporate Newspapering

by Gene Roberts
     
 

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In eight updated articles reprinted from American Journalism Review, reporters and journalism scholars document how the increased focus on the bottom line has led many newspapers to shrink from their civic mission. The sister volume Leaving Readers Behind looks at economic changes sweeping the industry. There is no index or bibliography. Annotation c.…  See more details below

Overview

In eight updated articles reprinted from American Journalism Review, reporters and journalism scholars document how the increased focus on the bottom line has led many newspapers to shrink from their civic mission. The sister volume Leaving Readers Behind looks at economic changes sweeping the industry. There is no index or bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Enormous changes have taken place in the newspaper industry in recent years, from the birth of USA Today to the growth of Web-based media, introducing a host of questions about these changes' impact on average American newspapers in particular and on democracy as a whole. Newspaper editor Roberts (New York Times; Philadelphia Inquirer) and a group of journalists have been studying these questions and have released their findings in a pair of volumes. The first, Leaving Readers Behind (2001), focused on the economics of these changes. This second volume focuses on these changes' impact on the content of daily papers. While these eight essays touch on a variety of concerns-declining coverage of statehouse politics even as lobbyists grab more power, increasing coverage of business and sports, and the decrease of national and international coverage-there's an underlying despair that runs throughout them. Modern newspapers are better written and better looking, but they've lost their distinctive flavor, these writers say, that "essential local ingredient" that makes readers loyal. Worse, they avoid important national and most international stories; "a foreign story that doesn't involve bombs, natural disasters, or financial calamity" rarely makes it into the news. Focus group researchers argue that this trend mirrors readers' preferences, yet many of these essays insist that to maintain an informed electorate, newspapers need to refocus on hard news and let the accountants worry about the bottom line. J-school students and media policy makers will benefit greatly from this wise collection. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

"You should be really proud of this. I follow [the Project on the State of the American Newspaper] closely, and you do a terrific job." —Bob Woodward, Washington Post "In an era of news coverage lite, Breach of Faith mounts a passionate and convincing case for substance and depth. Ironically, the heart of the argument is that the news media should give people what they want, a doctrine that has led many newspapers and television stations into vacuous and shallow reporting. It turns out that people actually want real news. What a surprise!." —Alex S. Jones director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University "This collection of essays by veteran journalists analyzes how corporate interests, driven by economic concerns and marketing research, have worked to reduce the kind of coverage that has been the hallmark of the press' role in a democracy. . . . Incisive analyses of a troubling trend." —Booklist (American Library Association) "A wise collection." —Publishers Weekly "An enlightening series of testimonials chronicling a trend that has imperiled our free press and, therefore, our democracy. . . . Roberts and Kunkel do the news industry and democracy a great service." —Words & Reflections "This book packs lots of bad news for the industry. . . . Breach of Faither charges that more and more of today's newspapers and reader-driven, filled not with news that readers need to know but instead with fluff that they want to know." —St Louis Post Dispatch

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781557287281
Publisher:
University of Arkansas Press
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
12.18(w) x 2.18(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author

Gene Roberts teaches in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He has had a long, distinguished career as reporter and editor, including serving as the managin editor of the New York Times and the executive editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. During his eighteen years at the Inquirer, the paper won seventeen Pulitzer Prizes.

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