Trivia Pursuit: How Showbiz Values Are Corrupting the News


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Veteran newsman Knowlton Nash has had a fifty-year love affair with the business of journalism. It’s a “beautiful business,” he says, but one headed for big trouble. In Trivia Pursuit, Nash explores the threats and challenges facing the news media today and tries to discern the direction it will take in the new century. The news media are awash in sensationalism, as is clear from the lavish coverage given to every tiny detail of Princess Diana’s death and funeral, and the breathless and casually inaccurate news stories on President Clinton’s alleged extramarital sex life. In their efforts to entice new readers and viewers, much of the media are turning tawdry gossip into news; as Nash puts it, they are startling our eyeballs rather than engaging our minds. Squeezed out or reduced to the briefest glance by the superabundance of trivia are stories that have a direct bearing on how we conduct our lives and our public affairs…


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