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Backstory: Inside the Business of News

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  60 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
It is said that journalism is a vital public service as well as a business, but more and more it is also said that big media consolidation; noisy, instant opinions on cable and the Internet; and political "bias" are making a mockery of such high-minded ideals. In Backstory, Ken Auletta explores why one of America's most important industries is also among its most troubled. ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Penguin Books (first published December 2003)
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Will Byrnes
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is a series of articles written for the New Yorker about the news media, more particularly print media. It focuses on the business aspects of print news, company reorganizations, managers and what they did (do) well and poorly, the culture of various newspapers, the growing relationship between newspapers and other forms of media. It is interesting but not compelling reading.
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Auletta, whose previous books include Greed and Glory on Wall Street and World War 3.0, is concerned about how the publishing industry affects the practice of journalism, in theory not beholden to profits and losses. Most critics agree that Backstory is a provocative if uneven collection that shows a serious understanding of the trade. Auletta's best pieces examine controversial figures such as Raines and Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. His less successful ones delve into the grisly (and

...more
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Ken Auletta has written Annals of Communications columns and profiles for The New Yorker magazine since 1992. He is the author of eleven books, including five national bestsellers: Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way; Greed And Glory On Wall Street: The Fall of The House of Lehman; The Highwaymen: Warriors of the Information Super Highway; World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies; ...more
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