The Media Show: The Changing Face of the News, 1985-1990

Overview

The Media Show is a lively analysis of one of the underreported major stories of our time: the growing power and influence of the media. In these essays and reports critic Edwin Diamond takes a hard look at the methods of the American media during a period of heightened competition and increased conglomeration,focusing on the way news stories are shaped, and sometimes distorted.Diamond first considers some of the consequences of the new order created by richer technologies and lowered aspirations. He explores the...

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Overview

The Media Show is a lively analysis of one of the underreported major stories of our time: the growing power and influence of the media. In these essays and reports critic Edwin Diamond takes a hard look at the methods of the American media during a period of heightened competition and increased conglomeration,focusing on the way news stories are shaped, and sometimes distorted.Diamond first considers some of the consequences of the new order created by richer technologies and lowered aspirations. He explores the mixed results of this new system, including marked changes in American broadcasting as the networks downsize their expenditures to news and public affairs coverage. There is, he notes, often a serious conflict within networks between the public good and the bottom line, a conflict that the news media generally chooses not to examine.Diamond then scrutinizes the role of style and personality on television. Next he turns to specific examples of television coverage of the defining topics of the late 1980s and early 1990s,including the arrival of cable technology and CNN, which changed the way wars and crises are covered; how some members of the media practiced "unsafe journalism" in their reports on AIDS; the role the media assumed as the "moral police" in recent election campaigns; the way race and class influenced crime stories such as the Tawana Brawley and the Central Park jogger cases; how the media has often seemed "married to the mob" in its reporting about reputed godfather John Gotti; and the changes in White House press coverage as Ronald Reagan was succeeded by George Bush.

Diamond concludes by proposing several ideas for creating new media structures.Edwin Diamond is Professor of Journalism at New York University, where he directs the News Study Group, and he is media columnist for New York magazine. His previous books include Good News, Bad News, Sign Off. The Last Days of Television, and The Spot: The Rise of Political Advertising on Television.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A professor of journalism at NYU and media columnist for New York magazine, where some of these essays first appeared, Diamond is chiefly interested in news as presented on television. In the past five years, he concludes, TV news coverage has gone from worse to worse, largely because the three major networks have ``downsized'' their spending on news and public affairs broadcasts; the brightest spot in the half-decade has been the emergence of Cable News Network (CNN). Diamond considers such topics as the early reporting on AIDS, in which Victorian prudery reigned, and the presentation of people in the news as images rather than as authentic individuals, citing the altered public perception of Nancy Reagan engineered by her husband's ``secretary of symbolism,'' Michael Deaver. He discusses the camera's love affair with John Gotti and the role that electronic and print journalists have assumed as ``character cops.'' While some of the points of view seem neither new nor arresting, Diamond offers much substantial food for thought. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262041256
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/1991
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwin Diamond was Professor of Journalism at New York University, where he directed the News Study Group, and was media columnist for New York magazine.
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