When MBAs Rule the Newsroom

Doug Underwood, Author
Doug Underwood, Author Columbia University Press $90 (259p) ISBN 978-0-231-08048-4
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-0-231-08049-1
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Using interviews and surveys of journalists as well as academic analysis, Underwood describes the growth of less substantive, ``customer-oriented'' journalism, observing that, while journalistic values haven't completely eroded, idealistic staffers face new stresses. A former Seattle Times reporter now teaching communications at the University of Washington, Underwood does not provide the narrative vigor that enlivens James Squires's Read All About It: The Corporate Takeover of America's Newspapers (Nonfiction Forecasts, Dec. 14, 1992) or Howard Kurtz's Media Circus: The Trouble with America's Newspapers (Nonfiction Forecasts, March 1). Nevertheless, he provides a sobering portrait of trends toward business boosterism, the melding of advertising and news and the factoid-rich style pioneered by USA Today . Newspapers, he suggests, will survive, but to thrive they should try not to ape television but instead to offer depth, context and perspective. (June)
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