From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News (Media and Power)

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9781594515545: From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News (Media and Power)

In a time when increasing numbers of people are tuning out the nightly news and media consumption is falling, the late-night comedians have become some of the most important newscasters in the country. From Cronkite to Colbert explains why. It examines an historical path that begins at the height of the network age with Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, when the evening news was considered the authoritative record of the day's events and forged our assumptions about what "the news" is, or should be. The book then winds its way through the breakdown of that paradigm of "real" news and into its reinvention in the unlikely form of such popularized shows as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. From Cronkite to Colbert makes the case that rather than "fake news," those shows should be understood as a new kind of journalism, one that has the potential to save the news and reinvigorate the conversation of democracy in today's society.

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About the Author:

Geoffrey Baym is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on the changing styles and standards of news media and political discourse. He has worked as a newswriter, reporter, and researcher for media outlets such as the CBS Network News, KSL Television in Salt Lake City, and the Tucson Citizen.

Review:

Geoffrey Baym is the Jon Stewart of journalism studies (though not as funny): If you want to see the emerging shape of television journalism, watch The Daily Show. If you want to understand its roots, significance and potential for invigorating democracy, read From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News. --Michael X. Delli Carpini, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

This is a finely detailed and highly readable analysis of how the nightly news squandered its trust with the American people, and why political comedy may get closer to the truth of many important stories. --W. Lance Bennett, Director, Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, University of Washington-Seattle

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