Polls show that Americans from every political, racial, and economic group in the country are mad at the media, but members of the press claim this simply proves that they are doing their job: reporting the news without fear or favor. As James Fallows demonstrates in this razor-sharp indictment, not only is the press not doing "the job, " it is actually getting in the way of Americans doing their jobs as citizens. Fallows details the ways in which the current style of news coverage engenders a sense of futility in the American public with regard to its ability to influence our society. Drawing on his own richly varied experience as a reporter and on scores of interviews with members of the print and broadcast media, he reveals how the reigning destructive practices evolved, and whose interests they serve. Outside the urban centers of media power, Fallows finds a new public-spirited approach to news coverage that is gathering passionate adherents while meeting fierce resistance from the media old guard. Breaking the News will ignite the increasingly heated debate over the role of the American media.
James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has reported from around the world and has worked in software design at Microsoft, as the editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter. He is currently a news analyst for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and a visiting professor at the University of Sydney.