Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press
Prometheus, 2002 (2002)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by David Pitt
here have been a handful of recent books about the state of American journalism, but most of them have been rather analytic, taking a broad overview and approaching the subject from a journalistic remove, if you will.
ere, on the other hand, is a collection of first-person, first-hand essays chronicling the experiences of eighteen journalists. Philip Weiss discusses the disturbing trend of reporting a story from a single point of view and refusing to report alternate interpretations of the same facts; Gerard Colby recounts his misadventures in book publishing, as his biography of a high-profile manufacturer was systematically attacked by the book's subject, and dumped by its publisher; Jane Akre describes how network interference nearly killed her story about industrial shenanigans, and her career; and so on.
nlike many books about contemporary journalism, this one's deeply personal, flamboyantly opinionated, and written with a hard edge: '
On September 11
,' one contributor writes, '
the vomit of journo-babble began before the World Trade Center towers hit the ground.
' He also calls network anchor Tom Brokaw a '
' - keep in mind this is written by a working journalist, not by someone who's got nothing to lose by being outspoken.
his is a book whose disarming honesty and anger (some of the contributors have been pretty badly treated by their chosen profession) will thoroughly captive you, even as it fills you up with frustration and doubt about the things you read and hear in the news every day. I have one teensy complaint, though: the Index is kinda weird. Ralph Nader, for example, is mentioned in at least three essays, but is not cited in the Index. There are a couple other examples, but they're pretty minor, really, and, come to think of it, not worth mentioning. So let's pretend I didn't.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more NonFiction books on our
or in our book