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Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy
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Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In Losing the News, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones offers a probing look at the epochal changes sweeping the media, changes which are eroding the core news that has been the essential food supply of our democracy.
At a time of dazzling technological innovation, Jones says that what stands to be lost is the fact-based reporting that serves as a watchdog
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 2009)
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Kathleen (itpdx)
Oct 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is Alex Jones' perceptions of the current state of journalism in the US. His background and main focus is newspapers.

He puts news reporting in four categories:
1) bearing witness
2) follow up
3) explanatory
4) investigative

Each one, progressively, takes more time and is therefore more expensive. He explains the history of newspapers in the US--that up until about 100 years ago they were about advocacy rather than balance. Newspaper publishers saw that if they were neutral and inexpensive
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
An amazing and insightful examination of the state of contemporary news, most notably the print edition of big-city papers. Alex Jones, a friend and distinguished journalist, heads the Shorenstein Center at Harvard. His latest book should be required reading for anyone who cares about the state of modern reporting.

His analysis begins with a detailed study of the importance not simply of daily print journalism, but most especially long-term investigative reporting, a field which has suffered
Oct 12, 2009 rated it liked it
This is not what I expected it to be. I thought Jones would be talking about the news and who controls what the average American sees and hears as news. But what Jones focuses on specifically is what he refers to as the 'iron core' of news, journalism itself and the fate of newspapers.

He's obviously very well informed and has many interesting anecdotal stories and insights having grown up in a newspaper owning family. He traces the impact of technology as well as the economy on news and
April Helms
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
For those interested in journalism, and particularly newspapers, I recommend The Death and Life of American Journalism… and this book. Combined, these two books excellently sum up the history of newspapers as well as the current dilemmas in the profession. While the book is mostly about newspapers, it delves a bit in other media formats as well. Well worth the read.
Jennifer Rauch
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This 2009 book didn't tell me anything about the state of the news that I didn't already know.
Robert Geoghegan
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
An exciting insight into journalism and the fears of what would happen to newspapers.
Keith Blackman
Well-balanced critique of what's happening to the traditional media, and why it's bad
Bart Breen
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Good Old Days with a Strong Look to the Future

Take a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who is third generation in a newspaper-owning family and throw in journalism generally in a state of complete upheaval and you have a recipe for either a strong book with a lot of insights or a lot of nostalgic hand-wringing. In this case, though you get a pretty strong balance of both.
In what is overall a strongly reasoned and well thought through presentation, Jones touches on many themes and issues.
Bill Sleeman
Apr 17, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In a Simpsons’ episode from 2001 Grandpa Simpson meets a newspaper columnist and exclaims “You're in the newspaper business? Something that's going to die before I do.”

Unlike Grandpa Simpson author Alex Jones in “Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy“ (2010) doesn’t seem to be sure if he is worried about the death of newspapers,the death of objective reporting or the perfidious influence (my words) of the Internet or perhaps all three? This lack of clarity is unfortunate
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Jones, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, takes us on a journey through the trials and tribulations faced by top shelf journalism in the face of the increasingly dwindled profits of today’s newspapers (apparently anything south of TWENTY percent is just not enough for those NYSEers who now control many of the papers). Of course the internet, with all it’s splendid content, is the latest threat to “real” news – defined roughly as objective-as-possible, bias and agenda free reporting. Jones ...more
Josh McConnell
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alex S. Jones has a vested interest in the future of journalism and the news. For multiple generations (at least three or four), his family has worked for and/or owned print journalism organizations -- specifically, newspapers. Jones has also worked for the NYTimes, hosted PBS' Media Matters and teaches journalism on a university level, among other titles.

So before we continue... No, he isn't the controversial American radio host of the same name.

All of this
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
"the nation's traditional news organizations are being transformed into tabloid news organizations..." (p. 51)

Alex S. Jones is a journalist who has just about seen it all: he has owned and managed a paper, he has written features, he won a Pulitzer Prize, he has taught journalism, he has done radio journalism and he has written several books. He knows of what he writes.

Jones is concerned about the evolution of news gathering services (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) from expensive
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jones brought up some very good points. At first I thought this book would be similar to the Kovach/Rosenstiel book on Principals of Journalism, but it was not. Jones, unlike Kovach/Rosenstiel, offered more examples of specific newspapers that were in financial trouble, as well as news organizations that addressed solutions to the problems failing papers faced. I also enjoyed how the book was interwoven with Jones's personal narrative of his family's experiences with the Greenesville Sun, making ...more
Kevin Cecil
Mar 26, 2012 marked it as to-read
Some of my friends run a great blog called "read this not that" ( I was reading their mission statement and freaked when it included a quote from Alex Jones. I only knew of Alex Jones, the conspiracy nut job, and immediately questioned why a site for advancing in depth journalism would quote someone more delusional than Glenn Beck. The editor quickly replied and educated me on the non-crank Alex Jones. The one who wrote this book, which I totally would have avoided due ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's very short (~150 pages). Its thesis is about how important it is to have 'core news' (which is not entertainment news, or health news), but on investigative and eyewitness journalism that tries to report the facts accurately. The author argues that journalists should not just report "So and so said X, So and so said Y", but to should also indicate who is actually telling the truth.

Mixed in with the analysis is a short history of the newspaper industry and the
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Alex S. Jones draws to light what many of us already know... good reading thus far... Jones is objective as a mediator of the truth and candidly relates small-town newspaper takeovers as well as the larger circulators. He knows the history and shares it well. Hopefully more people take notice. Accountability news is beyond necessary in a democracy. Without it, we lose many of our freedoms and get robbed by those in public service and corporations. This is a must read book.
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting discussion of the newspaper and its history. Very good and very accurate. So far there is no replacement. News from TV and the web generally originates with newspapers and newspaper journalists. In depth news almost exclusively comes from newspapers.
Sharon Beers
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good look at the consequences of the demise of print journalism.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Fascinating, but most likely because I'm interested in the topic so much. I learned so much from this.
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it


Interesting and thought provoking....

Similar ideas to the future of libraries..... lots of information, but what is valid? How does all this affect democracy?
Feb 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, media
Intelligent analysis of news business, but too much skewed for my taste through a prism of despair about the future of journalism.
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very thoughtful.
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Jun 29, 2014
Ron Rabakukk
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Nov 01, 2009
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Nov 02, 2009
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Alex S. Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has been director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government since July 1, 2000. Jones is also a lecturer at the school, occupying the Laurence M. Lombard Chair in the Press and Public Policy.