Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy

Alex S. Jones, Author . Oxford Univ. $24.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-19-518123-4

Pulitzer Prize journalist Jones (coauthor of The Patriarch ) argues that the demise of the newspaper industry is corroding the “iron core of information that is at the center of a functioning democracy.” Increasingly, he contends, what is passed off as news is actually entertainment; puff pieces have replaced the investigative reporting that allows citizens to make informed decisions. “We seem poised to be a nation overfed but undernourished, a culture of people waddling around, swollen with media exposure, and headed toward an epidemic of social diabetes,” he writes. Sifting through a history of the media that touches on such technological improvements as the Gutenberg press and the telegraph, Jones focuses on the Internet and the damage he believes it has wrought on print newspapers. Weaving in the story of his own family’s small newspaper in Tennessee, Jones presents an insider’s look at an industry in turmoil, calling plaintively for a serious examination of what a nation loses when its newspapers fold. Unfortunately, he offers few answers for saving print journalism, but his compelling narrative will incite some readers to drum up solutions of their own. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/01/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-19-975414-4
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