No Time To Think: The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle / Edition 1

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"In the frantic blur of today's news media, it's becoming increasingly difficult to separate fact from opinion and speculation. In No Time to Think, Howard Rosenberg and Charles S. Feldman take an eviscerating look at the current state of journalism - from cable news networks to blogs and print media and reach some disturbing conclusions." No Time to Think shows how today's media blizzard scrambles our perspective and potentially distorts how we act as a global society - and the book highlights how this affects not only us, as consumers, but also the government leaders we trust to make carefully considered decisions on our behalf. Drawing from original interviews with a wide range of experts and practitioners, No Time to Think pulls apart the 24-hour news cycle and issues an urgent wake-up call for all those who care about the future of journalism.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Veteran journalists Rosenberg and Feldman examine the shrinking news cycle-the period of time between when a news event occurs and its reportage-through a series of incisive essays. They decry the reckless speed at which stories appear in print, electronic, and broadcast media, which sacrifices journalistic integrity and fact-checking processes. They trace this need for speed back to the advent of 24/7 cable news networks like CNN, which was founded in 1980. Under pressure to fill hours of airtime, networks began inflating stories by constantly updating them, magnifying non-news events, and injecting personal conjecture from anchors. The Internet, blogs, and the birth of citizen journalism led to even higher stakes for the professionals. Rosenberg and Feldman suggest that while speed itself is not bad, the resultant erosion of professional standards affects public perception of what is newsworthy. Similar in tone to Rosenberg's earlier Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television, this book pulls no punches in its assessment of the profession. Recommended for academic and public libraries.
—Regina M. Beard

Kirkus Reviews
A tedious, repetitive and self-indulgent attempt to make the news cycle transparent. Rosenberg (Critical Writing and News Ethics/Univ. of Southern California; Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television, 2004) and journalist Feldman sketch out what seems like a compelling argument. With the increasing pace of news production, the proliferation of blogs and the decreased emphasis on traditional journalistic practices, they aver, reporters simply aren't able to produce accurate, insightful news, and the trust between journalists and their audience has eroded. Both authors have the pedigrees and experience to back their argument: Rosenberg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic; Feldman has spent nearly 20 years as a reporter. So it's all the more disappointing that, rather than providing clear examples of the ways in which the media cycle has caused catastrophic failures, they engage in self-gratifying bloviating, at one point even including a chapter's worth of their conversation. Both authors seem to be acutely aware of the potential criticism that there is a generational aspect to their argument, that maybe people their age just don't "get" the speed at which the present world must operate. In response, what ought to be a reasoned argument about the evils of the day at times assumes the defensively forced gaiety and practiced informality of old folks imitating young folks. (One of the authors, attending a Vegas conference on this new thing called "blogging," repeatedly refers to himself as "your blogmeister.") Rosenberg and Feldman touch on episodes like Scott McClellan's book and the media "firestorm" that allowed various myths to be perpetuated across thenation, but they don't venture an explanation of how one blogger's misinterpretation (the president told McClellan to lie!) turned into the next day's news feed. Slapdash treatment of an important topic.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826429315
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 433,713
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Rosenberg earned a Pulitzer Prize and numerous other honors during his 25 years as TV critic for the Los Angeles Times. His anthology, "Not So Prime Time: Chasing the Trivial on American Television," was published in 2004, winning wide praise and a starred review from Publishers Weekly. He teaches critical writing and news ethics at the University of Southern California, USA.

Charles S. Feldman's nearly 20 years as an investigative television and print journalist have straddled the crucial juncture of "old-fashioned" reporting and the introduction of the 24 hour news cycle and lend him an unique perspective to the advantages and pitfalls that this change has brought about.

In the course of his career, Feldman's experience has ranged across all media platforms: television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online. He worked as an on air correspondent for CNN in New York and Los Angeles reporting on terrorism and organized crime, among other things. He is currently a regular contributor to the CBS all-news radio station in Los Angeles as well as the CBS Radio Network.

Feldman has written and/or reported for publications such as, New York Magazine, Parade, The New York Post, The New York Daily News; Playboy (International Edition); Philadelphia Magazine and The Catholic Digest, among others. He was also a regular contributor to the Reuters News Service.

Feldman holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and a master's degree in journalism from New York University. Born in Brooklyn, he has lived most of his adult life in New York City. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he previously taught at the University of Southern California School of Journalism, and currently serves as a freelance journalist and media consultant.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 "Why Is Speed So Bad?" 1

Ch. 2 Two Revolutions: French and Mexican 33

Ch. 3 All the News before It Happens 45

Ch. 4 Blog On! 67

Ch. 5 A New Protestant Reformation: Citizen Journalists to the Rescue 90

Ch. 6 "In-Depth Instant Results" 113

Ch. 7 Desperate Newspapers Play Catch-Up 133

Ch. 8 Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside: A Conversation 151

Ch. 9 What If? Scenarios, Dark and Darker 180

Ch. 10 Five Grams News, Ten Grams Speculation 189

Afterword 205

Bibliography 213

Index 215

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