Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All

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9780060853952: Bad News: The Decline of Reporting, the Business of News, and the Danger to Us All

At a time when the world has been blindsided by failures of intelligence, a veteran Cbs News correspondent reveals how the news media has betrayed our trust and endangered our democracy.

Tom Fenton is the senior European correspondent for Cbs News. In his long journalistic experience, he has reported on everything from the fall of the Shah of Iran to the crumbling of communism in East Germany to the bombing of Israel during the first Gulf War. Today he has covered the movements of al Qaeda throughout Europe–a story he was tracking before 9/11. And in the three years since, he has come to a sobering realization: the American news media–and network Tv news in particular–has abdicated its responsibility to the American people.

As Fenton points out, much of America still gets its news from the networks. But in the years leading to 9/11 the coverage of terrorism was sporadic at best, focusing on acts of terror rather than the people and movements that caused them. It was Washington's job to connect the dots, Fenton argues, but it was the news business's job to track the story and watchdog the government's vigilance–and both sides failed. "By the time of the Bush–Kerry election," Fenton writes, "for the first time, the news media had an even worse credibility gap" than the government's. Lulled into complacency by the Cold War, gutted by corporate bottom–lining bottom feeders, the news media missed the story of the century–just as they'd missed hundreds of others in the years before, from Kosovo to Chechnya. As a frequent voice in the wilderness himself–who tried unsuccessfully to interest Cbs in an Osama bin Laden interview in the 1990s–Fenton charges that the news media must change its perspective from that of an entertainment–industry offshoot to that of a keeper of the public trust. And he argues that his industry must foster a new patriotic skepticism, one tha

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About the Author:

Thomas Fenton has been a foreign correspondent for CBS News since 1970; prior to that he worked for the Baltimore Sun, after an earlier career as an officer in the U.S. Navy. In his career with CBS he has covered nearly every major European and Middle Eastern story of the day -- from the 1966 Six Day War to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has covered hundreds of international summits, natural disasters, riots, the civil war in Northern Ireland, famine in Africa, the intifada in Palestine, the assassination of Indira Gandhi, the death of Princess Diana, the end of Communism in the Soviet Union, the collapse of the Soviet empire, and now the new American crusade against terror.

Fenton is the recipient of four Emmy Awards, a Columbia University Dupont Award, a Georgetown University Weintal Award, and numerous Overseas Press Club awards for his reporting.

Fenton and his wife have two children, both of whom have followed him into the television news business. He is currently based in London, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

What makes this discourse on the current state of broadcast news such a gripping read is not that it critiques the establishment—it's the specific nature of Fenton's complaint. The author, who's been reporting for CBS News for 34 years, accuses the industry not just of having a political bias, but of being supremely lazy and incompetent. Fenton shares his own opinions, but buttresses them with sharp interviews from the Big Three (Brokaw, Rather, Jennings) and elder statesman Cronkite, who, not surprisingly, is most forthcoming, admitting he doesn't even watch the CBS Evening News anymore: "Nothing there but crime and sob sister material." Fenton lays out the hows and whys of what he sees as the problems present in today's news media (largely broadcast news) with exacting logic. After the end of the Cold War, an unfortunate confluence of factors—including the lack of a pervasive threat that might keep audiences attuned to foreign news, a growing herd mentality within the media, and "cutbacks, bottom-line fever, and CEO-mandated news criteria"—resulted in an industrywide dumbing-down and a decline in ratings. Along with this well-structured explanation of what's wrong and how to fix it, Fenton also provides a convenient guide to the biggest underreported stories and why they're important. (Mar. 1)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 223 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. At a time when the world has been blindsided by failures of intelligence, a veteran CBS News correspondent reveals how the news media has betrayed our trust and endangered our democracy. Tom Fenton is the senior European correspondent for CBS News. In his long journalistic experience, he has reported on everything from the fall of the Shah of Iran to the crumbling of communism in East Germany to the bombing of Israel during the first Gulf War. Today he has covered the movements of al Qaeda throughout Europe-a story he was tracking before 9/11. And in the three years since, he has come to a sobering realization: the American news media-and network TV news in particular-has abdicated its responsibility to the American people. As Fenton points out, much of America still gets its news from the networks. But in the years leading to 9/11 the coverage of terrorism was sporadic at best, focusing on acts of terror rather than the people and movements that caused them. It was Washington s job to connect the dots, Fenton argues, but it was the news business s job to track the story and watchdog the government s vigilance-and both sides failed. By the time of the Bush-Kerry election, Fenton writes, for the first time, the news media had an even worse credibility gap than the government s. Lulled into complacency by the Cold War, gutted by corporate bottom-lining bottom feeders, the news media missed the story of the century-just as they d missed hundreds of others in the years before, from Kosovo to Chechnya. As a frequent voice in the wilderness himself-who tried unsuccessfully to interest CBS in an Osama bin Laden interview in the 1990s-Fenton charges that the news media must change its perspective from that of an entertainment-industry offshoot to that of a keeper of the public trust. And he argues that his industry must foster a new patriotic skepticism, one that will both inform the people and help Washington defend the country better. Tom Fenton s passionate argument for change in the political sector is being embraced by readers on all sides. Since its publication in the United States Bad News has won wide and critical acclaim from such publications as Publisher s Weekly, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060853952

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 223 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. At a time when the world has been blindsided by failures of intelligence, a veteran CBS News correspondent reveals how the news media has betrayed our trust and endangered our democracy. Tom Fenton is the senior European correspondent for CBS News. In his long journalistic experience, he has reported on everything from the fall of the Shah of Iran to the crumbling of communism in East Germany to the bombing of Israel during the first Gulf War. Today he has covered the movements of al Qaeda throughout Europe-a story he was tracking before 9/11. And in the three years since, he has come to a sobering realization: the American news media-and network TV news in particular-has abdicated its responsibility to the American people. As Fenton points out, much of America still gets its news from the networks. But in the years leading to 9/11 the coverage of terrorism was sporadic at best, focusing on acts of terror rather than the people and movements that caused them. It was Washington s job to connect the dots, Fenton argues, but it was the news business s job to track the story and watchdog the government s vigilance-and both sides failed. By the time of the Bush-Kerry election, Fenton writes, for the first time, the news media had an even worse credibility gap than the government s. Lulled into complacency by the Cold War, gutted by corporate bottom-lining bottom feeders, the news media missed the story of the century-just as they d missed hundreds of others in the years before, from Kosovo to Chechnya. As a frequent voice in the wilderness himself-who tried unsuccessfully to interest CBS in an Osama bin Laden interview in the 1990s-Fenton charges that the news media must change its perspective from that of an entertainment-industry offshoot to that of a keeper of the public trust. And he argues that his industry must foster a new patriotic skepticism, one that will both inform the people and help Washington defend the country better. Tom Fenton s passionate argument for change in the political sector is being embraced by readers on all sides. Since its publication in the United States Bad News has won wide and critical acclaim from such publications as Publisher s Weekly, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060853952

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