More You Watch, the Less You Know: News Wars/[Sub]merged Hopes/Media Adventures

Overview

A candid insider's tale of how the media really works and why it doesn't work the way it should, The More You Watch, The Less You Know has emerged as a key catalyst in the debate on media reform. The More You Watch, The Less You Know recounts Schechter's media adventures, from when he was "Danny Schechter the News Dissector" on Boston's WBCN radio, to his stints as a producer at ABC's 20/20 and CNN, to his personal odyssey chronicling the anti-Apartheid revolution in South Africa, to his development of innovative...
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Overview

A candid insider's tale of how the media really works and why it doesn't work the way it should, The More You Watch, The Less You Know has emerged as a key catalyst in the debate on media reform. The More You Watch, The Less You Know recounts Schechter's media adventures, from when he was "Danny Schechter the News Dissector" on Boston's WBCN radio, to his stints as a producer at ABC's 20/20 and CNN, to his personal odyssey chronicling the anti-Apartheid revolution in South Africa, to his development of innovative programming like South Africa Now and Rights & Wrongs as an independent producer. In this age of telecommunications bills and media mergers, The More You Watch, The Less You Know is an insider’s passionate plea for freedom of the (electronic) press.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although his book is supposed to be a critique of the television industry, in reality it is the autobiography of Schechter. And as a combination of the two it is often informative, and sometimes hilarious. Schechter got his start working at the counter-culture WBCN Radio in Boston. He tells laugh-out-loud stories about his confrontations with the FBI and the "humiliating" experience of seeing his FBI filewhich referred to him as "amusing, good-natured and happy." He recalls his time as a Nieman Fellow and his confrontation with Henry Kissinger, whom he accused of killing six million people in Indochina. Schechter recalls losing his job as a producer at WCVB-TV when a song called "Butt F---" was aired; working at Ted Turner's fledging CNN; and his time at the ABC ("Always Be Conservative") Network. He laments the "Howardization" of radio by shock-jocks Howard Stern and Don Imus and the "collusion" he ascribes to politicians and the press. There are also unflattering profiles of Barbara Walters, Roone Arledge and Ted Koppel. This is a sophisticated, irreverent look at television that will make readers winceand laugh. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
This behind-the-scenes look at America's media monopoly might more aptly be titled "The More You Write, the Less You Remember Your Point." Although Schechter offers many interesting insights about the world of journalism and where it is going (downhill, fast), this book suffers from a lack of cohesion. If this were one of the documentaries or news programs Schechter (Emmy Awardwinning producer for 20/20 and CNN) directed or produced, you'd have to assume he'd be yelling, "Cut, cut!" Hints that this was going to be more than a tad rambling come in the introduction, which is a whopping 54 pages long. There is also more than a little back-patting going on in this memoir/exposé. Readers are constantly reminded that plenty of other journalists may have sold out, but Schechter did not. That said, he does America a service by warning of the problems inherent in a society in which journalism has become synonymous with entertainment, and media mergers mean news that is one-sided and sanitized. Not one to simply whine, Schechter closes the book with suggestions about what journalists and the American public can do to change the status quo.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781888363401
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Edition description: A SEVEN ST
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Formerly a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard and a television producer, DANNY SCHECHTER has made waves in the mainstream and alternative media for decades. Called the "alternative Walter Cronkite," he has witnessed and participated in the history-making events of our age, from the founding of the Yippies in 1967, to Nelson Mandela's triumphant presidential election in 1994, for which Schechter was designated the exclusive filmmaker, to the Media and Democracy Congress of 1996, which he helped organize, through the present day. He has reported from forty-nine countries in his over forty years in the broadcast journalism business.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Foreword 15
Foreword 19
Introduction: The Many Fronts of the Media War 25
1 News Dissecting: Inside the Rock Radio Revolution 85
2 Elevating Journalism (through Harvard Yard) 111
3 Going Local: Breaking into the Business and Being Broken by It 121
4 CNN: The World's Most (Self) Important Network 141
5 20/20: We're in Touch So You Be in Touch 163
6 The Control Room 185
7 Defecting: Becoming a Network Refugee 199
8 Globalvision: Downwardly Mobile and Upwardly Global 215
9 Passion and Discovery: That Was Then 251
10 On the Island 305
11 Contradictions, Contradictions: This Is Now 319
12 Media Worlds in Collision 333
13 I, Rupert 353
14 The Mergers of July and the End of Journalism 373
15 What We Can Do 445
16 The Media Channel 463
Selected Media Reform Groups 469
Filmography 471
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