When the Press Fails

When the Press Fails

Political Power and the News Media From Iraq to Katrina

Book - 2007
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A sobering look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media,When the Press Fails argues the dependence of reporters on official sources disastrously thwarts coverage of dissenting voices from outside the Beltway.
The result is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action that questions why the mainstream press failed to challenge the Bush administration’s arguments for an invasion of Iraq or to illuminate administration policies underlying the Abu Ghraib controversy. Drawing on revealing interviews with Washington insiders and analysis of content from major news outlets, the authors illustrate the media’s unilateral surrender to White House spin whenever oppositional voices elsewhere in government fall silent. Contrasting these grave failures with the refreshingly critical reporting on Hurricane Katrina—a rare event that caught officials off guard, enabling journalists to enter a no-spin zone—When the Press Fails concludes by proposing new practices to reduce reporters’ dependence on power.

“The hand-in-glove relationship of the U.S. media with the White House is mercilessly exposed in this determined and disheartening study that repeatedly reveals how the press has toed the official line at those moments when its independence was most needed.”—George Pendle, Financial Times

“Bennett, Lawrence, and Livingston are indisputably right about the news media’s dereliction in covering the administration’s campaign to take the nation to war against Iraq.”—Don Wycliff,Chicago Tribune
“[This] analysis of the weaknesses of Washington journalism deserves close attention.”—Russell Baker,New York Review of Books


Baker & Taylor
A sobering look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media is presented in this examination that is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action to reduce reporters' dependence on power.

Blackwell North Amer
Why, in these times when we most need a critical, independent press, does this essential pillar of democracy fail us? A look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media, When the Press Fails argues that reporters' dependence on official sources disastrously thwarts coverage of dissenting voices from all but the most influential circles.
The result is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action that begins by questioning why the mainstream press neglected to cover considerable evidence against the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Drawing on interviews with journalists and Washington insiders and analyses of coverage by major news outlets, the authors show that such catastrophic blind spots, particularly during the Abu Ghraib controversy, have stemmed from the media's reluctance to use other credible sources when high-level officials are not questioning the administration publicly. Contrasting these failures with the critical reporting on Hurricane Katrina - a rare event that caught officials off guard, enabling journalists to enter a no-spin zone - When the Press Fails concludes by proposing new practices to reduce reporters' dependence on power.

Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2007
ISBN: 9780226042848
0226042847
Branch Call Number: 071.3 BEN
Characteristics: xiii, 263 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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johnsankey
Dec 19, 2013

An analysis of the unanimity of world view and purpose between press and politicians in the USA, and proposals for how the American press could become more free. Allan Fotheringham makes the same case with a seemingly endless array of gossip, mostly from Canada. Senior journalists will prefer this book, most casual readers Fotheringham's "Birds of a Feather".

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