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

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  330 ratings  ·  59 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, serious-minded guide to navigating the twenty-first century media terrain. Yes, old authorities are being dismantled, new ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 9th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published October 5th 2010)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  330 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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May 09, 2012 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
Astri Apriyani
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

“Saya percaya, semakin baik mutu jurnalisme, makin baik pula mutu masyarakat.”–Bill Kovach
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.
Steven S
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Blur take reader define news product, whether it's true or not from massive flood of information.

Compelling book to know deeper how journalism and it's evolving role take place in post-truth era.

Nice reading for anyone who have interest in media.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really relevant and useful read. It had a good mix of theoretical ideas and concrete, practical applications. It was painful to read only because it is so utterly applicable right now. It made me think about the consumption of news in new ways, and I really enjoyed the parts on confirmation bias, a topic I have been thinking a lot about lately. I also found the idea that something could be simultaneously true and irrelevant very surprising. I think of truth-finding as the central goal of journ ...more
Bill Main
Sep 26, 2012 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
Dec 03, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
really good book for those who find it hard to figure out what is real and not in the world of information overload.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"When information is in greater supply, knowledge becomes harder to create, because we have to sift through more data to arrive at it. Confusion and uncertainty are more likely." Bill Kovach and Tom Rosentiel illuminate much about the paradox of an "information age" (or perhaps a Disinformation Age) in which misconceptions and bold-faced lies are more abundant than ever, despite the labors of dedicated fact-checkers. Kovach and Rosentiel's impartial analysis of the problem and its possible solut ...more
Eustacia Tan
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nlb-ereads
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
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended and necessary reading for everyone in this digital age. Much of what is discussed in this book is a mix of journalism and information literacy (from the field of library and information science). As a result, the book serves as a field guide to improving our information diets through selecting the best (most credible, complete, and non-partisan) information sources and resources. Everyone can benefit from reading this book.
Bill Anderson
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to become a more educated user of News

This is a very challenging book and requires a considerable amount of thought and challenges one to the commitment of being a responsible and discerning citizen which requires knowledge, balance, and a desire to explore all facets of an issue and to be aware of one’s virus so as to have a balanced opinion that is not dependent on one point of you.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent reading. The authors write a good thesis on the evolution of news gathering and reporting, explaining well our current climate and how we ended up here. They also give good lessons on how to interpret what get from the news and what makes ‘good’ reporting. They also have suggestions for how current news organizations could improve their product offerings.
Judine Brey
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is nicely balanced between real-life events and definitions/analysis of these events. It is both thought-provoking and practical, especially in spelling out what our responsibilities as a news consumer are. Worthwhile as a textbook and a personal reference.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such an important read. Explores such important topics regarding how we process information and the role of journalism today. And written pre-Trump. Can't wait to see what they have to say next.
Sarah Souther
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
[library mini-review]
A consumer manual for news consumption, this 2010 title feels timely and necessary. Learn about “The Journalism of Verification” vs. “The Journalism of Affirmation” and what to look for in the news.
Victoria Waddle
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“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
Jeff Scott
Sep 07, 2011 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
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 01, 2011 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
Mar 15, 2012 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
Camille McCarthy
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Aug 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Blur: How To Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload
Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel.
NY: Bloomsbury, 2010. 227 pages.
Bill Kovach formerly worked for the Atlanta Journal
The book discusses some of the changes in the news field subsequent to the development of the internet - that is the change from a reliance of newspapers and hard copy to getting your news from the internet.
1. How To Know What To Believe Anymore
2. We Have Been Here Before
3. The Way of Skeptical Knowing: The Trad
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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
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“One of the most useful pieces of advice we've learned in our journalism careers is summed up in the phrase "beware the fallacy of evil men.” 4 likes
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