Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media

by Nick Davies.

An excellent exposé of the failure of the newspaper industry.

Flat Earth News

When I originally read about this book, I decided I must read it. Three and a half years later, I finally did.

If you've ever wondered why British (and other countries') newspapers are so crap, this book explains why. It's a fascinating but depressing read. Davies, the journalist who went on to expose the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, explains how and why the British (and worldwide) quality press—he barely bothers to waste time on the red-top tabloids—has gone steadily downhill, due to numerous factors, including undermanning, deskilling, cost-cutting, the use of news agencies, the PR industry, propaganda, media barons, bad editors, and so on.

I was particularly interested in the sections on the rehashing of news agencies' stories, and on the rehashing of the rehashing, so that stories become blown out of all proportion.

On the whole, this is an excellent book, although Davies does not really cover one of the factors which I believe have affected our newspapers, namely the rise of the internet and the blogosphere, creating an incessant demand for more and more news.

Read this book, and you will never trust the newspaper industry again. If, indeed, you ever did.

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