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Journalism: Truth or Dare?

Hargreaves, Ian
Publisher:  Oxford University Press, New York, USA
Year Published:  2003  
Pages:  294pp   Price:  19.95   ISBN:  0-19-280274-7

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Hargreaves is a serious-looking (from his jacket photo) journalism professor at Cardiff UK; he has held senior spots in newspapers, magazines, television and radio. This book is all about gatekeeping in journalism, yet he doesn't even mention the word (nor "Mr. Gates"). How strange#

His material covers accountability, ethics, regulation, trust, commercialization, advertising, corporate ownerships, branding, PR, dumbing down, celebrities, readership and audience, conscience, free expression and censorship, electronic publishing, and cultural identity. He believes that journalism has now moved from being the "first draft of history" to "cultural dumbing down". A good example of this (not used in the book) is Paris Hilton, who the media was all over: she is famous for just being famous.

Although he uses examples from everywhere, the book is British-based. The first forty pages are devoted to history, there are eclectic illustrations, which seem to have no real purpose, and while there are endnotes, there is no bibliography. The section on films about journalism ignores "Absence of Malice" (1981) and "The Paper" (1994). Convergence is not discussed; maybe it didn't hit the UK?

Audience or interest level: communication students.

Some interesting facts: Star journalists earn as much as celebrities.

What I don't like about this resource: this is a short book with tons of leading. There are only 250 words on a page, much like a manuscript.

What I do like about this resource: touches all the bases, much to think about without the answers being given, a swift account.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 74.

[Review by Dean Tudor]

Table of Contents

List of Instructions

Introduction: The Paradox of Power
1. Born Free: Press Freedom and Beyond
2. Big Brother: Journalism and the State
3. Star-Struck: Journalism as Entertainment
4. Up to a Point, Lord Copper's: Who Owns Journalists
5. Hacks v.Flaks: Journalism and Public Relations
6. Murder is my Meat: The Ethics of Journalism
7. Matt's Modem: Tomorrow's Journalism



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