Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights

The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done To Fix It

Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights

The sudden meltdown of the news media has sparked one of the liveliest debates in recent memory, with an outpouring of opinion and analysis crackling across journals, the blogosphere, and academic publications. Yet, until now, we have lacked a comprehensive and accessible introduction to this new and shifting terrain. In Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights, celebrated media analysts Robert W. McChesney and Victor Pickard have assembled thirty-two illuminating pieces on the crisis in journalism, revised and updated for this volume. Featuring some of today’s most incisive and influential commentators, this comprehensive collection contextualizes the predicament faced by the news media industry through a concise history of modern journalism, a hard-hitting analysis of the structural and financial causes of news media’s sudden collapse, and deeply informed proposals for how the vital role of journalism might be rescued from impending disaster. Sure to become the essential guide to the journalism crisis, Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights is both a primer on the news media today and a chronicle of a key historical moment in the transformation of the press.

Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights

The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done To Fix It

Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights

The sudden meltdown of the news media has sparked one of the liveliest debates in recent memory, with an outpouring of opinion and analysis crackling across journals, the blogosphere, and academic publications. Yet, until now, we have lacked a comprehensive and accessible introduction to this new and shifting terrain. In Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights, celebrated media analysts Robert W. McChesney and Victor Pickard have assembled thirty-two illuminating pieces on the crisis in journalism, revised and updated for this volume. Featuring some of today’s most incisive and influential commentators, this comprehensive collection contextualizes the predicament faced by the news media industry through a concise history of modern journalism, a hard-hitting analysis of the structural and financial causes of news media’s sudden collapse, and deeply informed proposals for how the vital role of journalism might be rescued from impending disaster. Sure to become the essential guide to the journalism crisis, Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights is both a primer on the news media today and a chronicle of a key historical moment in the transformation of the press.

Are Libraries Obsolete?

An Argument for Relevance in the Digital Age

Are Libraries Obsolete?

The digital age has transformed information access in ways that few ever dreamed. But the afterclap of our digital wonders has left libraries reeling as they are no longer the chief contender in information delivery. The author gives both sides--the web aficionados, some of them unhinged, and the traditional librarians, some blinkered--a fair hearing but misconceptions abound. Internet be-all and end-all enthusiasts are no more useful than librarians who urge fellow professionals to be all things to all people. The American Library Association, wildly democratic at its best and worst, appears schizophrenic on the issue, unhelpfully. "My effort here," says the author, "is to talk about the elephant in the room." Are libraries obsolete? No! concludes the author (also). The book explores how libraries and librarians must and certainly can continue to be relevant, vibrant and enduring.

Democracy Without Journalism?

Confronting the Misinformation Society

Democracy Without Journalism?

As local media institutions collapse and news deserts sprout up across the country, the US is facing a profound journalism crisis. Meanwhile, continuous revelations about the role that major media outlets--from Facebook to Fox News--play in the spread of misinformation have exposed deep pathologies in American communication systems. Despite these threats to democracy, policy responses have been woefully inadequate. In Democracy Without Journalism? Victor Pickard argues that we're overlooking the core roots of the crisis. By uncovering degradations caused by run-amok commercialism, he brings into focus the historical antecedents, market failures, and policy inaction that led to the implosion of commercial journalism and the proliferation of misinformation through both social media and mainstream news. The problem isn't just the loss of journalism or irresponsibility of Facebook, but the very structure upon which our profit-driven media system is built. The rise of a "misinformation society" is symptomatic of historical and endemic weaknesses in the American media system tracing back to the early commercialization of the press in the 1800s. While professionalization was meant to resolve tensions between journalism's public service and profit imperatives, Pickard argues that it merely camouflaged deeper structural maladies. Journalism has always been in crisis. The market never supported the levels of journalism--especially local, international, policy, and investigative reporting--that a healthy democracy requires. Today these long-term defects have metastasized. In this book, Pickard presents a counter-narrative that shows how the modern journalism crisis stems from media's historical over-reliance on advertising revenue, the ascendance of media monopolies, and a lack of public oversight. He draws attention to the perils of monopoly control over digital infrastructures and the rise of platform monopolies, especially the "Facebook problem." He looks to experiments from the Progressive and New Deal Eras--as well as public media models around the world--to imagine a more reliable and democratic information system. The book envisions what a new kind of journalism might look like, emphasizing the need for a publicly owned and democratically governed media system. Amid growing scrutiny of unaccountable monopoly control over media institutions and concerns about the consequences to democracy, now is an opportune moment to address fundamental flaws in US news and information systems and push for alternatives. Ultimately, the goal is to reinvent journalism.

America's Battle for Media Democracy

The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media Reform

America's Battle for Media Democracy

Drawing from extensive archival research, the book uncovers the American media system's historical roots and normative foundations. It charts the rise and fall of a forgotten media-reform movement to recover alternatives and paths not taken.

Digital Media and Innovation

Management and Design Strategies in Communication

Digital Media and Innovation

Digital Media and Innovation, by Richard A. Gershon, takes an in-depth look at how smart, creative companies have transformed the business of media and telecommunications by introducing unique and original products and services. Today's media managers are faced with the same basic question: what are the best methods for staying competitive over time? In one word: innovation. From electronic commerce (Amazon, Google) to music and video streaming (Apple, Pandora, and Netflix), digital media has transformed the business of retail selling and personal lifestyle. This text will introduce current and future media industry professionals to the people, companies, and strategies that have proven to be real game changers by offering the marketplace a unique value proposition for the consumer.

The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark

The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism

The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark

In this sweeping, incisive post mortem, Dean Starkman exposes the critical shortcomings that softened coverage in the business press during the mortgage era and the years leading up to the financial collapse of 2008. He locates the roots of the problem in the origin of business news as a market messaging service for investors in the early twentieth century. This access-dependent strain of journalism was soon opposed by the grand, sweeping work of the muckrakers. Propelled by the innovations of Bernard Kilgore, the great postwar editor of the Wall Street Journal, these two genres merged when mainstream American news organizations institutionalized muckraking in the 1960s, creating a powerful guardian of the public interest. Yet as the mortgage era dawned, deep cultural and structural shifts—some unavoidable, some self-inflicted—eroded journalism's appetite for its role as watchdog. The result was a deafening silence about systemic corruption in the financial industry. Tragically, this silence grew only more profound as the mortgage madness reached its terrible apogee from 2004 through 2006. Starkman frames his analysis in a broad argument about journalism itself, dividing the profession into two competing approaches—access reporting and accountability reporting—which rely on entirely different sources and produce radically different representations of reality. As Starkman explains, access journalism came to dominate business reporting in the 1990s, a process he calls "CNBCization," and rather than examining risky, even corrupt, corporate behavior, mainstream reporters focused on profiling executives and informing investors. Starkman concludes with a critique of the digital-news ideology and corporate influence, which threaten to further undermine investigative reporting, and he shows how financial coverage, and journalism as a whole, can reclaim its bite.

Digital Mosaic

Media, Power, and Identity in Canada

Digital Mosaic

Digital Media has transformed the way Canadians socialize and interact, conduct business, experience culture, fight political battles, and acquire knowledge. Traditional media, including newspapers and conventional TV networks, remain the primary link to Canada's political sphere but are under concerted attack. YouTube, blogs, online broadcasting, Facebook, and Twitter have opened new and exciting avenues of expression but offer little of the same "nation-building glue" as traditional media. Consequently, Canada is experiencing a number of overlapping crises simultaneously: a crisis in news and journalism, threats to the survival of the media system as a whole, and a decline in citizen engagement. In Digital Mosaic, David Taras both embraces and challenges new media by arguing that these coinciding crises bring exciting opportunities as well as considerable dangers to democratic life and citizen engagement in Canada.

Rethinking Journalism

Trust and Participation in a Transformed News Landscape

Rethinking Journalism

There is no doubt, journalism faces challenging times. Since the turn of the millennium, the financial health of the news industry is failing, mainstream audiences are on the decline, and professional authority, credibility and autonomy are eroding. The outlook is bleak and it's understandable that many are pessimistic. But this book argues that we have to rethink journalism fundamentally. Rather than just focus on the symptoms of the 'crisis of journalism', this collection tries to understand the structural transformation journalism is undergoing. It explores how the news media attempts to combat decreasing levels of trust, how emerging forms of news affect the established journalistic field, and how participatory culture creates new dialogues between journalists and audiences. Crucially, it does not treat these developments as distinct transformations. Instead, it considers how their interrelation accounts for both the tribulations of the news media and the need for contemporary journalism to redefine itself.

How Policy and Profit Shape Content

How Policy and Profit Shape Content

Money and journalistic integrity have often been at odds throughout history. Yet today, with newspaper business models struggling, there has been more tension than ever. This book goes behind the scenes and teaches readers about past and present newspaper profit models, and how big money can influence reporting and public opinion. Also addressed are new battlegrounds in the profit wars such as net neutrality and innovative business models such as hyperlocal news. This book asks the questions that no one else will and digs deep for the answers.