Veteran journalist H.B. Koplowitz explores the oxymoron of journalism ethics in this anthology of 19 "stories behind the stories" spanning four decades. In tales that are both engaging and illuminating, Koplowitz recounts some of the big -- and not so big -- news stories he has covered, revealing some of the ethical choices and mistakes journalists sometimes make under deadline pressure or in hot pursuit of scoops.
Part 1 begins with the author crashing the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City and ends with him sneaking into the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial of the century in Los Angeles. In between, he goes on an ill-fated media junket to interview President Jimmy Carter in Washington, D.C.; walks on fire; stakes out a media stakeout; tries to "seduce" a source; and slips over to the other side to flack for the Illinois State Fair.
Part 2 chronicles some of his experiences editing for a wire service in Los Angeles between 1998 and 2009, when the news business was being buffeted by digitization and tabloidization. Included are stories about Matt Drudge, Meryl Streep, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Paris Hilton, the Columbia space shuttle disaster, a roller coaster death, a terrorist attack at LAX and more.
Koplowitz has been a reporter, freelancer, editor, educator and public information officer in small, medium and big cities. He's also written three books and ghostwrote a fourth for an Illinois governor who did not go to prison. Throughout his journalism career, he has been struck by the vagaries of the profession, and has written about his experiences in a style that was once called gonzo or New Journalism. "Misadventures in Journalism" is a must-read for haters as well as lovers of the media.
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