When the Press Fails

When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina
by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, and Steven Livingston [Univ. of Chicago]

This book examines "the tendency of the [American] press to record rather than critically examine the official pronouncements of government" during the post-9/11 Bush administration. Despairing at this lack of press independence, the authors argue that the most important remedy for this trend is to revive public debates over the importance of public-interest journalism. Focusing deep analysis on several particular large stories - the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib and Katrina, the book argues that effective public-sphere standards of press accountability could have produced more analytical news coverage, giving people the knowlege and the will to have a greater influence on governmental action. -jl

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey