Overload: Finding the Truth in Today's Deluge of News

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Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
October 01, 2017
6.3 X 0.9 X 9.2 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Bob Schieffer, one of America's pre-eminent television journalists and former host of CBS's Face the Nation, is the author of This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV (Penguin, 2003), Face the Nation: My Favorite Stories from the First 50 Years of the Award-Winning News Broadcast (Simon & Schuster, 2004), and Bob Schieffer's America (Penguin, 2009). He is a member of the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and in 2009 was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. He resides in Washington, DC. H. Andrew Schwartz is chief communications officer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. A former White House producer at Fox News, Schwartz co-hosts with Bob Schieffer the weekly About the News podcast and writes The Evening newsletter, a daily roundup of international affairs.


"Bob Schieffer is one of America's most experienced and distinguished journalists - and with Overload he has given us an important, timely and insightful book on the state of journalism in the digital age. The news business is changing at warp speed - for better and worse - and Overload is a welcome navigational tool."--Tom Brokaw
"Donald Trump is radically changing the White House's relationship with the press, and legendary newsman Bob Schieffer knows this beat better than anyone else. To understand what's going on inside this chaotic White House, you must read Schieffer's timely and important book."--Mika Brzezinski, Co-Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe
"In this illuminating and valuable book, a towering American journalist and public citizen shows us the vital importance of journalism to our time, talks to some of the most distinguished people now creating it, and counsels us all on how best to use it in some of its newest and most innovative forms. The great Bob Schieffer's book comes at a moment when its central message could not be more essential."--Michael Beschloss
"Bob Schieffer's wise and thoughtful book reminds us that while reporters have never been popular (especially among those they cover), the profession is critical to maintaining our freedom. Further, he warns those in all parts of the business that, amid dramatic changes in delivery of the news, the fundamental ethical principles upon which honorable journalism is based -- above all, fairness -- must not change."--The Honorable Robert Gates, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
"Bob Schieffer is not only a distinguished journalist who understands what is happening to his profession, he also knows that the only solution is what his own career has symbolized: be a good reporter, ask good questions and always speak the truth. The problem effectively described in Overload is that the revolution in information technologies, the barrage of breaking news, fake news, partisan politics, and the loss of trusted news sources has made it much more difficult to find the facts."--The Honorable Leon Panetta, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense
"An insightful reader's guide for finding the signals in the noise of the daily news."--Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School
"Bob Schieffer's insightful exploration of the changing news media serves as an important guide to everyone concerned about the quality of information available to America's citizens."--Frances F. Townsend, Former Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush
In this 2016 election post-mortem, veteran reporter Schieffer (This Just In: What I Couldn't Tell You on TV) interviews journalists at media organizations of all types, including NBC, the New York Times Company, Politico, and NPR, to find out how Americans are receiving and interpreting the overwhelming deluge of news--both real and fake. Schieffer shows how powerful events such as J.F.K.'s assassination, which was one of the first major news stories reported in real time on television, and the September 11 attacks, which saw the proliferation of misinformation on the internet, altered how news was presented and consumed for better or worse and set the stage for Donald Trump's tumultuous 2016 campaign. The 24-hour news cycle and web-enabled communication technology enabled fake news sites to flourish (and profit) while traditional outlets often struggled to keep up. Schieffer maintains a optimistic outlook as he shows the rapid changes in news media. He notes how organizations are adopting new formats, such as podcasts, and revitalizing old-school ones, such as newsletters. Schieffer also highlights successes of smaller and equally vital outlets like the Texas Tribune, which successfully shifted to a fully free-access model, and the Root, an online magazine focusing on African-American culture that helped bring national attention to stories such as the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. This vital, impressive study adroitly sums up the current and ever-evolving state of news coverage and the vital need for journalism and educated readers alike.--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
In this incisive work, a veteran newsman explores modern media and why we have become so vulnerable to 'alternative facts.' Overload is news veteran Bob Schieffer's insightful take on modern journalism, presented with the able assistance of H. Andrew Schwartz of the Center for Strategic and International Studies....Despite major challenges to media outlets, Schieffer's tone remains upbeat about journalism's future. This book is an important guide that has much to offer to those in media and journalism, as well as to concerned citizens.--Foreword Reviews
These days, the news is the news. Accusations of 'fake news' abound, while antagonistic salvos are fired at reporters, and administration officials declare the media to be the 'enemy of the people.' Schieffer, former host of CBS's Face the Nation, is a giant of journalism; Schwartz, his co-author, is chief communications officer at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Together, they examine the multiplicity of ways news is disseminated in the twenty-first century and ponder the irony that today's citizens are less informed, despite having more media choices than ever before. Providing overviews of venerable institutions such as the New York Times and the Washington Post as well as such more recent additions as Buzzfeed and Vox Media, the authors succeed at helping media consumers make wise choices about where to get the news by examining journalistic standards and challenges and offering conclusions about our current state of information saturation. Succinct, savvy, and shrewd, this read-in-one-seating treatise on the Fourth Estate provides a crucial tool for critical analysis.--Booklist
It turns out that Overload is a manual of sorts for both journalists and civilians who care about maintaining a thriving fourth estateand who are making a good-faith attempt at participating in the well-informed citizenry that the Founding Fathers knew was crucial to a functioning democracy.... Overload ought to become required reading in journalism curricula. Indeed, in his afterword, Schieffer offers a final teachable moment by illustrating what journalistic tenacity actually looks like to those who would learn the lesson.--Washington Independent Review of Books
It has come down to this: It takes a book like Overload to explain to news consumers what they are faced with in a world exploding with information, some true, some false.--San Antonio Express-News
In this timely book Bob Schieffer and H. Andrew Schwartz assess the current state of journalism and why it matters. . . . For anyone interested in a level-headed assessment of the current state of American journalism, Overload is well worth the read.--Technical Communication