Jimmy's Reviews > Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy

Breaking the News by James M. Fallows
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really liked it
bookshelves: male, non-fiction, year-1990s

Almost accidentally, I started reading James Fallow's blog at the Atlantic a few months ago and found it to be one of the most refreshingly insightful blogs I've read. It's rare to read someone who, even if he may not always be correct, has obviously given a lot of thought to what he writes.

So I decided to read this book by him. It was written in the 90's and thus is kind of dated, but that doesn't diminish the points it makes. I thought I wouldn't learn many new things about the press that I wouldn't have already known by watching the movie Network, but I was wrong. This book goes in depth and really clearly outlines what is wrong with the media today, where it went wrong, how it could be better, and what's stopping us from making it better. At times, the situation seems so absurd that it felt like something Kafka made up, and it is similarly amusing and funny in that way, and would be funnier if it weren't so depressing and so true at the same time. I won't sum up what the book says, as it isn't a long book and you should really read it for yourself. I do think a lot of the issues are still relevant today, and I wonder what Fallows would say about the media now, in the year 2009, with the advent of Fox News, the internet, the blogosphere, and a bunch of other developments.

The only complaint I have is that the book gets a little repetitive at times. If it could have been cut by about 30 to 50 pages by a very good editor, it would be even more powerful.
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Reading Progress

January 23, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 27, 2009 – Finished Reading

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