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The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Daily newspapers are closing across America. Washington bureaus are shuttering; whole areas of the federal government are now operating with no press coverage. International bureaus are going, going, gone.Journalism, the counterbalance to corporate and political power, the lifeblood of American democracy, is not just threatened. It is in meltdown.

In The Death and Life of A
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Nation Books (first published 2009)
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April Helms
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must-read for journalists and anyone wanting to save the field and restore it to its Fourth Estate watchdog status. The authors take a thorough look as to what is wrong with newspapers (really, all for-profit generalized mass media but the focus is on the newspaper), where things went wrong and, most importantly, how to bring them back. As to what is wrong, several of the problems McChesney and Nichols point to are issues I've brought up for years. A big problem is that the for-profit, ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
Back in the day, Journalism was about a few McChesney choosing what should be published. Today anyone can publish and that is bad. What's next? Maybe people would refuse to pay McChesney a generous pension the way they are paying for his lifestyle. The sky is falling! ...more
Tiffany Conner
May 06, 2010 rated it liked it
There wasn't much in this book which wasn't already public knowledge to anyone who has (gasp!) watched a good news program or read an actual newspaper lately. That's right, I said it.

Even so, I admired the passion and intelligence the authors brought to the issue. They did a fine job of stressing the inextricable link between a healthy democracy and informed, critical journalistic culture. The old models won't do. Newspapers can die (no ad dollars!) and democracy may thrive; it's journalism, go
For anyone who has ever sat in front of the TV or read an article and ever asked themselves, "Why do I waste my time with this trash?" when confronted with the empty, partisan quarrels, conspiracy theories, and celebrity gossip that seem to pass for news these days, this is the book for you.

McChesney and Nichols offer some creative ideas for government subsidies that encourage the revival of journalism (especially at the local level) without direct government control over what gets published. Wh
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here are my lectures notes.

# State of journalism
Journalism is necessary to educate the electorate on matters of state and democracy.

Newsrooms across the country have been closing down and readership is steadily decreasing. The electorate is less and less informed.

For those who think this problem will make itself felt in the future only: "we are far long on this crisis of unaccountable leadership, secrecy, corruption and hollowed-out democracy, with the news media having played all too complicit
Josh McConnell
The downward spiral of journalism is a pressing and relevant issue today thanks to the rise of online publications and aggregators. The current model of journalism -- which is owned by big-businesses only caring about turning a profit -- is failing miserably, not only in terms of finances but also in its lack of living up to the accurate definition of journalism. Media outlets are about quick sound bites, entertaining the audiences, being paid off by corporations and not wanting to step on the g ...more
Paul Heidebrecht
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
We should all be worried when we see major newspapers go bankrupt. Not because the owners are losing money but because journalism itself is at risk. And democracy won't survive without independent journalists keeping the public informed about what the government and the powerful in society are up to. We are already in trouble because of the pathetic state into which much of broadcast journalism has already fallen. Just look at your local evening TV news and weep! McChesney's solution: government ...more
The American Conservative
'Neither Jarvis nor anyone else can predict the ways in which the digital revolution is going to “begin the world again” for journalism and the news media, but it’s inevitable that big changes will come. Based on a reading of The Death and Life of American Journalism, it’s also inevitable—and encouraging—that McChesney and Nichols will hate most of them.'

Read the full review, "Black & White & Red All Over," on our website:
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of the best books I've read addressing the current journalism crisis in the United States. Rather than cite the internet as the reason for the media's downfall, McChesney and Nichols trace the origins of the journalism crisis to the commercial media system. Their historical analysis is extremely fascinating and eye opening. ...more
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very intriguing book that perfectly encapsulates how I personally feel about the state of journalism today. They make a very good argument with a whole slew of suggestions for how to save American journalism. As depressing as their analysis is, their suggestions are just as hopeful. It left me feeling oddly optimistic--though you realize we Americans have a lot of work to do.
Apr 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Worth reading by all concerned by fading newspapers...Much research, but all designed to bolster authors' conclusions that Journalism must be government-subsidized to survive. This conclusion will doom fair news-coverage AND threaten democracy, rather than strengthen it. ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Mostly aimed at true believers -- no one who doesn't care about the future of journalism is going to read this. Very interesting chapter about the difference between free speech and free press. ...more
Jul 01, 2010 marked it as to-read
Please check the display shelves/cases in the collection.
Sabra Jewell
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Absolutely brilliant.
Jodi Dills
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Anyone with any interest in American Journalism needs to read this book.
Jennifer  Karchmer
Feb 03, 2012 rated it liked it
A little dry but in my profession so it sits on the bookshelf and is used as a reference tool. McChesney and Nichols have teamed up again.
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
The last chapter is the best, concerning the protest in Madison.
Reeti Tripathy
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