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Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  237 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Amid the hand-wringing over the death of "true journalism" in the Internet Age-the din of bloggers, the echo chamber of Twitter, the predominance of Wikipedia-veteran journalists and media critics Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel have written a pragmatic guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ones created, a ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA (first published October 5th 2010)
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May 09, 2012 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book (other than Elements) that I have ever read to teach journalism students what they need to know about what it really means to be a journalist, even though the book is also aimed at a broader audience of news consumers.

Although I'm biased since I used to work for Bill and Tom, I think that what they have done here is tremendous, because it is an artful marriage of the core values of journalism and how to keep them alive with a keen understanding of how journalism is changi
Emma Sea
This was a sensationalised pop version of the books on the media industry I've been reading lately. The writing style is designed to sex up the information and make it more captivating to an audience who has grown used to infotainment. The unfortunate irony was enough to make this a dnf.
Jan 07, 2013 Pandasurya marked it as to-read

“Saya percaya, semakin baik mutu jurnalisme, makin baik pula mutu masyarakat.”–Bill Kovach
Apr 07, 2012 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The matarial is certainly thought-provoking, especially their examination of the "Journalism of Affirmation" which made me realize how much I, as well as most others, select my sources of information based on the ones with which I agree the most. Whether MSNBC or Fox, such journalists WANT to create an atmosphere of argument rather than the validation of evidence required for the "Journalism of Verification".

The strongest point for me is the idea of our OWN responsibility in choosing our sources
Astri Apriyani
Mar 20, 2013 Astri Apriyani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: journalism
Semua hal di dunia ini pada dasarnya bergerak, tidak statis, tidak ajeg, tidak melulu itu-itu saja. Dunia jurnalisme juga begitu, ternyata. Yang tadinya kita hanya mengenal "jurnalisme sejati" melalui media-media cetak, seiring waktu, kita lalu diperkenalkan dengan yang namanya era baru jurnalisme, yaitu jurnalisme di media siber.

Buku ini dari awal sudah mempertanyakan, siapa itu wartawan? Apakah para penulis berita online di internet, blogger, Tuips (pengguna Twitter yang kadang-kadang juga tid
Eustacia Tan
May 13, 2016 Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So for this book, I basically wrote my thoughts down as I finished each chapter. Which probably explains why the review is longer than usual...

Chapter 1 reminds me a lot of SS. Basically, there are six steps in "the way of skeptical knowing". They are:

1. Identify the kind of content
2. Determine if the news is complete
3. Assess sources
4. Assess evidence
5. How do new news models interact with evidence? (Is there an alternative explanation or understanding?)
6. Are we getting what we need?

Ok, so onl
Oct 11, 2015 Arianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blur is a great read for anyone who is a journalist, has in interest in journalism, or would like to know more about how news is relayed by the media. We see stories reported minutes after something happens and social media makes it possible to share them in an instant. It’s the responsibility of the public to read past the headlines, and to be able to process and fully understand what we’re reading.

“In an age when we are our own editors, in the ‘show me’ versus ‘trust me’ age of information, t
Victoria Waddle
Jun 08, 2015 Victoria Waddle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Some people observing the media landscape today have wondered whether truth even matters anymore. Perhaps, they speculate, in the new information age reality is simply a matter of belief, not anything objective or verified; now there is red truth and blue truth, red media and blue media. . . .[R]ather than trying to find out what is going on, they have already decided. Perhaps, in a sense, we have already moved from the age of information to the age of affirmation.”

If this is a scary thought fo
Feb 02, 2011 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
And another First Reads win.

I was hoping this would address digital media more than it does. The focus of the book is on journalism so the book probably would appeal to journalists and journalism students moreso than other readers. There is some interesting information here but I had hoped for more impact and more readability.
Dec 26, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In some ways this was about as one might expect - be careful what you take in from the internet, it may contain stuff that you may find to be less than fully truthful. There are some guidelines in how to view the different types of journalsm; verification, assertion, affirmation, and interest-group. But it seems at some level that all journalists, whether or not intentional, carry out their vocation in all these manners at some point - and sometimes while on a single story. We consumers of that ...more
Oct 04, 2013 Sherin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really good book for those who find it hard to figure out what is real and not in the world of information overload.
May 23, 2015 Joe rated it liked it
The most common criticism of late-20th and early 21st century journalism seems to be that it's not "real journalism" anymore. Kovach and Rosenstiel offer a model which considers that the thing we call "journalism" might not be a monolith. They find historical precedents for 4 different models - a "journalism of verification" which matches that "real journalism" category, a "journalism of assertion" which values immediacy over analysis, a "journalism of affirmation" which presents news in a way m ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Anton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jurnalisme
Sekarang, informasi datang berlimpah ruah. Tak hanya dari media arus utama, seperti TV, koran, majalah, dan semacamnya. Arus informasi itu justru datang dari banyak media yang diproduksi sendiri oleh warga, jejaring sosial.

Maka, tantangan baru pun muncul. Jika sebelumnya susah mengakses, saat ini konsumen informasi justru kebingungan menentukan, manakah informasi yang bisa dipercaya dan mana yang tidak.

Buku ini memberikan panduan bagaimana konsumen informasi bisa mencari informasi mana yang lay
Sep 11, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
One semester of high school journalism (tedious beyond the telling) was enough to drive me away from the admittedly meager interest I had in entering the field myself, though I've remained an avid consumer of the news. In recent years, however, I've been increasingly frustrated and dismayed by what passes as news on cable television and the tenor of the political "discussion" that this news intersects with.

So with this layman's interest in the topic, I jumped at the opportunity to read Bill Kova
Camille McCarthy
Very informative, interesting account of how news has changed over time and how we are now in charge of deciding what news is accurate and which "news" might not really show the whole picture. Most of it was just common sense: noticing if the reporter had sources for information, whether those sources were good sources or not, looking for news which connects the story to a broader picture, that kind of thing. What I liked was that it also gave ideas of how journalism should morph in this modern ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, readin12
"How to know what's true in the age of information overload", is the enticing subtitle of this book. However, reading this book will not make you an expert in identifying a story that is prejudiced, or embellished or even untrue. It does give you some pointers to help you identify what is true and what is not.

Be skeptical. And don't just accept a statement because it happens to agree with your beliefs. The news cycle can be daunting so choose your sources carefully and question whether the news
Jeff Scott
Dec 06, 2011 Jeff Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel attempt to resurrect good journalism with their book Blur. Both being authors of The Elements of Journalism, this book also has the failing of being as dry as a textbook. However, most of the book has interesting examples of how the government, corporations, and media manipulate the public, and it is our job to be able to identify what is happening. There are different kinds of ways to report a story and if the public can identify what that is, we can be ...more
Aug 29, 2011 George rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The book starts off with an intriguing premise, following how news and information is transmitted following a nuclear disaster. Intriguingly,we find that the anecdote provided was mostly true, taken from real stories surrounding the Three Mile Island accident. Using TMI as a starting point, the authors begin to discuss how news dissemination and journalism have changed in the age of digital information that has arisen since TMI. The authors really care about the quality of journalism and prescri ...more
Greg Stoll
This book was...well, OK. I bet it would be interesting if you were interested in journalism or journalistic ethics.

The main point for news consumers is that it's good to ask the following questions when analyzing a news story:
- What kind of content am I encountering?
- Is the information complete; and if not, what am I missing?
- Who or what are the sources, and why should I believe them?
- What evidence is presented, and how was it tested or vetted?
- What might be an alternative explanation or un
May 16, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Requires the commitment to daily reading like an assigned textbook but the information contained is very valuable. The beginning in particular took effort to maintain focus and the authors do repeat themes more than necessary. I find the content so pertinent and critical to feeling secure that my opinions are my own and trusting in my understanding of the world that I gave it four out of five anyway.
I have been looking for a book on this subject, i.e., how to vet things we hear and see. The authors have great backgrounds for this. We will see.

The book is about analyzing the news in the light of journalism (if indeed there is any journalism in most of the news). I am more than disappointrd in the names partisans use for their different catagores.

I learned that buzz words such as "Obama Care" and "Death Tax" instead of Health Care and InheiratenceTax, are actually printed on wallet size card
Tim Farley
Jan 31, 2015 Tim Farley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physical-copy
You don't have to be a news junkie to notice that traditional journalism - newspapers, magazines and so on - have gone through a huge upheaval in the last decade or so. This book explores the path the public has to navigate now that journalists are no longer gatekeepers to the news. It has some good practical advice on how to evaluate information you encounter, and some predictions from the future.

I particularly like the section where they delineate between four models of journalism - journalis
John Pappas
While going over territory familiar to media critics and communications scholars, Kovach and Rosenstiel mix informative and fascinating anecdotes along with a discussion of media basics and their paradigm of the modes of journalism. The book really takes off toward the end where the authors discuss how journalism must evolve in the 21st century -- not "to survive," per se, as many people are concerned about -- but in order to provide the essential services it provides in order for our democracy ...more
Aug 27, 2012 Judine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a former journalism teacher, I found this fascinating. As an English teacher, I found a lot of information I can use with my classes, especially in explaining research. It's far too easy, as Kovach and Rosenstiel point out, to get only part of the story because that's what's fastest and easiest. What made this book truly worthwhile was the fact that it blended stories of actual events in with their definitions and descriptions of what's happening to the news today to make their ideas more cle ...more
While the topic and the details are really important, this was a bit dense to read.
Matt Goudy
great for aspiring journalists. boring for the rest of us.
Sandra Kinzer
assigned reading for journalism 201 in fall 2014
Bill Main
Oct 20, 2012 Bill Main rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book comes off as a text book at times. At others, it takes us on an adventure into the type of journalism it is describing. I hope that all that want to see thru today's media "Blur", educate themselves. This is a good start. Creating a checklist from the text becomes useful, due to the fact that the ways we are being manipulated are numerous. Knowing what we are being told and how is now more important than ever. Also, knowing how to participate in the new ways are huge. Givie it a shot, ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Kent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll use this every day!
Mar 29, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgroup, non-fic
Though it's a bit dry and academic in places, Blur is a great book for learning to think about news in a more critical way. In today's 24/7, non-stop news economy, we're all aggregators, editors, and even journalists. Kovach breaks down the news we experience into distinct types, discusses the shortcomings and strengths of each type, and takes a swing at describing what the "next news" should be like to best serve citizens of a democracy.
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