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Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism
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Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  66 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Did the Washington Post bring down Richard Nixon by reporting on the Watergate scandal? Did a cryptic remark by Walter Cronkite effectively end the Vietnam War? Did William Randolph Hearst vow to “furnish the war” in the 1898 conflict with Spain? In Getting It Wrong, W. Joseph Campbell addresses and dismantles these and other prominent media-driven myths—stories about or b ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 12th 2010 by University of California Press (first published June 1st 2010)
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Jeff Raymond
There's good and bad to this book, and the good overall outweighs the bad, but the bad must be part of the discussion.

The good: there are a lot of pervasive myths about stories that we've accepted as true that aren't. Some, like the lawlessness in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina or the true role of Woodward and Bernstein in regards to Watergate, are well known to be myths to media watchers and historically literate people. Others, like Morrow's role with McCarthyism or Hearst's role in t
Jan 19, 2011 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
This one didn't impress me as much as I'd expected. I thought the chapter on Hurricane Katrina was the best of them. Others, it seemed that the writer was talking about psychology and putting more black and white into gray areas. Opinions stated as fact. He could have used an editor, too.
Tommy Powell
Aug 13, 2010 Tommy Powell rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 18, 2013 Kayris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book was published in 2010, I first heard of it when it was mentioned in an article in the days following the Sandy Hook shootings in December. If you can recall, the wrong brother was initially identified as the shooter. The news media said the mother was a teacher at the school, then she was an aide, then a volunteer, then she had no ties to the school at all. The shooter was schizophrenic, autistic, bullied, you name it. It seemed like no one had the story right.

So I picked up t
Ryan Holiday
Jun 22, 2012 Ryan Holiday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about six months ago and thought it was OK. It was only after I began to read a bit on this history of journalism and its role in US history that I began to see how pervasive these myths are. For instance, some of the most seminal books on media (The Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian which was the basis for much of Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent for instance) contain myths like Hearst's "you furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war" basis of theses. Others include Edward Morrow ...more
May 16, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The problem with the truth is that it is dry like an overcooked Thanksgiving turkey compared to the perfectly brined meat product of "telling anecdote." I found this book sustaining and informative but in need of some cranberry sauce.

The best chapter was the one on Edward R. Murrow and Senator McCarthy.

The one I picked the book for, the story someone needs to tell in a way that people listen, is the one about Hurricane Katrina. Well, whoever writes that at least has his or her research already
May 02, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dry & scholarly... but interesting subject matter: the mis-reporting of the Katrina aftermath, the herofication of Cronkite, Murrow and Woodward & Bernstein, the NY Times "spiking" the Bay of Pigs preparations, as well the myth about Hearst starting the Spanish-American war. The book doesn't really demonize any of these people (except possibly Mayor Nagin in New Orleans) but instead tries to separate what actually happened from the pro-journalism myth-making that has crept up around thes ...more
Margaret Sankey
Journalistic debunking of moments we have shaped into narratives with exaggerated importance--Hearst and the "I'll furnish the war," War of the Worlds and widespread panic, Bra-burning in Atlantic City, Jessica Lynch, Crack Babies and Woodward and Bernstein singly-handedly bringing down Nixon, all of them pointing to a deep human need to take complicated, shaded situations and make them into stories that are easier to understand and fit our needs at the time.
May 31, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually surprised how much I liked this book. Not a fan of the media in general, but was concerned about his last two chapters on Jessica Lynch and Katrina, but after reading them I have to agree with his assessments on both.
Stephanie LGW
Nov 16, 2010 Stephanie LGW rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
Wow. This will really make you think twice about the way stories are reported. Goes all the way back to "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."
Want to read this? Get it at the Research Center, here: PN4756 .C36 2010
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W. Joseph Campbell, Ph.D. is a professor in the School of Communication at American University . His book Getting It Wrong was launched at the Newseum in mid-June and was among the 90 titles selected for the National Press Club's Fair and Authors' Night in November. He regularly discusses issues related to the book on his blog, Media Myth Alert.

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