How to Watch TV News

Neil Postman, Author, Steve Powers, With Penguin Books $14 (192p) ISBN 978-0-14-013231-1
Academic Postman ( Amusing Ourselves to Death ) and television newsman Powers (of Fox Five in New York) offer a brief, helpful analysis of America's most popular news source. In a sober but accessible style, the authors address theoretical issues, such as the difficulty of portraying nonvisual abstractions (for example, a new scientific theory) on televison, and describe the selling of the news through techniques such as the ``tease'' and the formation of an on-air ``pseudo-family.'' They reveal how stories originate--often from newspapers and press releases--and show how difficult it is for harried reporters to provide substantive news. The most provocative chapter analyzes the inherent biases and limitations in both language and pictures. The authors conclude with several none-too-radical pieces of advice, including the suggestion that parents seek ways to have schools train children in watching TV news. Regrettably, the authors don't discuss the role of TV criticism or what television news does well. Further, the book would have been much richer if Powers had included anecdotes from his career and reflected from his own experience on in-house decision-making. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1396-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-7861-5592-7
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-1062-9
Prebound-Glued - 178 pages - 978-1-4177-0313-5
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