Friday, 15 March 2013

Blur by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel

Do we live in a true democracy if our news media is only a puppet at the end of strings? And, who might be pulling those strings?

Kovach and Rosenstiel are two seasoned journalists from the US, who are on a crusade to educate the public – and journalists – about the need to respond to the challenges of news broadcasting in the age of the internet.

Technology has developed to the point where a constant stream of news and information saturates us to the point of overload. But, while this seems to allow us direct access to events as they happen, dangerous changes have crept into the field of journalism. Gone are the well-staffed newsrooms of old, where journalists had time to thoroughly check their facts and sources. In their place, news is reported as instantly as it occurs, and with the public expecting on the spot reporting, sleek PR teams and a burgeoning number of media savvy partisan groups are using the system to their advantage.

How to counteract this? The authors argue that speed is the enemy of accuracy, and the less time you have to produce your content, the more errors it will contain. Journalists must stop just relaying the news from whatever source is close to hand, be it a well-rehearsed sound-bite from a politician or a second-hand account from a self-proclaimed witness. Quality journalism requires time, research, and a healthy degree of skepticism. Kovach and Rosenstiel state journalists and news consumers need to be educated enough to question the quality of news content, and in Blur they provide us with a set of tools to do so. This book will bring you up to speed with how even our most trusted sources are at the mercy of our own consumer expectations.

I found this book very informative, especially in light of the new current affairs offering from TVNZ.

Posted by Spot

Check our Catalogue and reserve online                                                                                       
Blur: How to Know What's True in the Age of Information Overload by Kovach & Rosenstiel

About the Authors
Tom Rosenstiel is an author, journalist, press critic and executive director of the American Press Institute. He was founder and director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), a research organization that studies the news media. A journalist for more than 30 years, he worked as a media critic for the Los Angeles Times and chief congressional correspondent for Newsweek magazine and as co-founder and vice chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. He appears often on radio, television and in print, and has written widely on politics and media.

Bill Kovach is a US journalist, former Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, former editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and co-author of the popular book, The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect

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