Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism

Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism

W. Joseph Campbell / Aug 23, 2019

Getting It Wrong Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism Many of American journalism s best known and most cherished stories are exaggerated dubious or apocryphal They are media driven myths and they attribute to the news media and their practitioners fa

  • Title: Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism
  • Author: W. Joseph Campbell
  • ISBN: 9780520291294
  • Page: 203
  • Format: Paperback
  • Many of American journalism s best known and most cherished stories are exaggerated, dubious, or apocryphal They are media driven myths, and they attribute to the news media and their practitioners far power and influence than they truly exert In Getting It Wrong, writer and scholar W Joseph Campbell confronts and dismantles prominent media driven myths, describingMany of American journalism s best known and most cherished stories are exaggerated, dubious, or apocryphal They are media driven myths, and they attribute to the news media and their practitioners far power and influence than they truly exert In Getting It Wrong, writer and scholar W Joseph Campbell confronts and dismantles prominent media driven myths, describing how they can feed stereotypes, distort understanding about the news media, and deflect blame from policymakers Campbell debunks the notions that the Washington Post s Watergate reporting brought down Richard M Nixon s corrupt presidency, that Walter Cronkite s characterization of the Vietnam War in 1968 shifted public opinion against the conflict, and that William Randolph Hearst vowed to furnish the war against Spain in 1898 This expanded second edition includes a new preface and new chapters about the first Kennedy Nixon debate in 1960, the haunting Napalm Girl photograph of the Vietnam War, and bogus quotations driven by the Internet and social media.

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    • ✓ Getting It Wrong: Debunking the Greatest Myths in American Journalism || ✓ PDF Read by ☆ W. Joseph Campbell
      203 W. Joseph Campbell
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      Posted by:W. Joseph Campbell
      Published :2018-012-09T17:43:48+00:00

    About "W. Joseph Campbell"

      • W. Joseph Campbell

        W Joseph Campbell, Ph.D is a professor in the School of Communication at American University His book Getting It Wrong was launched at the Newseum in mid June and was among the 90 titles selected for the National Press Club s Fair and Authors Night in November He regularly discusses issues related to the book on his blog, Media Myth Alert.


    495 Comments

    1. This is - quite something. It's certainly persuasive, I'll give it that. I can't say I buy into it fully, because it's ideological in turn (and doesn't try to mask that), but certain elements of its point of view are eloquent and well-stated:For journalists, these myths are very seductive: they place the news media at the epicenter of vital and decisive moments of the past, they tell of journalistic bravado and triumph, and they offer memorable if simplistic narratives that are central to journa [...]


    2. There's good and bad to this book, and the good overall outweighs the bad, but the bad must be part of the discussion.The good: there are a lot of pervasive myths about stories that we've accepted as true that aren't. Some, like the lawlessness in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina or the true role of Woodward and Bernstein in regards to Watergate, are well known to be myths to media watchers and historically literate people. Others, like Morrow's role with McCarthyism or Hearst's role in t [...]


    3. An excellent nightstand read for those who feel frustrated with the current state of journalism. Campbell -a journalism professor at American University- gives the background on each story and then dissects the available information, much of it known at the time the story evolved into myth. For instance, the "Panic" created by the War of the Worlds broadcast in 1938 never happened. Campbell then goes into the details of local news coverage in New York and Newark, and the heavy reliance on the wi [...]


    4. I read this book about six months ago and thought it was OK. It was only after I began to read a bit on this history of journalism and its role in US history that I began to see how pervasive these myths are. For instance, some of the most seminal books on media (The Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian which was the basis for much of Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent for instance) contain myths like Hearst's "you furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war" basis of theses. Others include Edward Morrow [...]


    5. This one didn't impress me as much as I'd expected. I thought the chapter on Hurricane Katrina was the best of them. Others, it seemed that the writer was talking about psychology and putting more black and white into gray areas. Opinions stated as fact. He could have used an editor, too.


    6. From an early age we are intrigued by opposites. The news media have the charter of disseminating reliable information. If they perform the opposite function, that should interest us.Several reviewers say this book is dry. I actually found it quite readable, and am a little disturbed by their reaction. Popular myths become popular because a simple quote or concept is easily absorbed, remembered, and thereafter confidently repeated as fact. Somehow, equally simple rebuttals to those myths don't g [...]


    7. I thought this was an interesting book about some of the more popular myths produced by the media. In most cases I don't think I would call it "fake news" since there is an element of truth. It isn't exactly made up, but it does involve some stretching of the truth or at least printing or broadcasting news without all the facts. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in news media or history since in some cases our perception of history is influenced by some of these myths.


    8. On the one hand, this book is reassuring, because it shows that 'fake news' and exaggeration are nothing new by taking apart stories from the past 100 years that have been the subject of sensationalist news reporting, and either showing that they were outright fabrications or that many aspects were overblown. On the other hand, it shows that journalism has nearly always favoured ratings over accuracy, and doesn't exactly give hope that the current situation will remedy itself.


    9. Although this book was published in 2010, I first heard of it when it was mentioned in an article in the days following the Sandy Hook shootings in December. If you can recall, the wrong brother was initially identified as the shooter. The news media said the mother was a teacher at the school, then she was an aide, then a volunteer, then she had no ties to the school at all. The shooter was schizophrenic, autistic, bullied, you name it. It seemed like no one had the story right.So I picked up t [...]


    10. The problem with the truth is that it is dry like an overcooked Thanksgiving turkey compared to the perfectly brined meat product of "telling anecdote." I found this book sustaining and informative but in need of some cranberry sauce.The best chapter was the one on Edward R. Murrow and Senator McCarthy. The one I picked the book for, the story someone needs to tell in a way that people listen, is the one about Hurricane Katrina. Well, whoever writes that at least has his or her research already [...]


    11. Dry & scholarly but interesting subject matter: the mis-reporting of the Katrina aftermath, the herofication of Cronkite, Murrow and Woodward & Bernstein, the NY Times "spiking" the Bay of Pigs preparations, as well the myth about Hearst starting the Spanish-American war. The book doesn't really demonize any of these people (except possibly Mayor Nagin in New Orleans) but instead tries to separate what actually happened from the pro-journalism myth-making that has crept up around these s [...]


    12. Journalistic debunking of moments we have shaped into narratives with exaggerated importance--Hearst and the "I'll furnish the war," War of the Worlds and widespread panic, Bra-burning in Atlantic City, Jessica Lynch, Crack Babies and Woodward and Bernstein singly-handedly bringing down Nixon, all of them pointing to a deep human need to take complicated, shaded situations and make them into stories that are easier to understand and fit our needs at the time.


    13. Actually surprised how much I liked this book. Not a fan of the media in general, but was concerned about his last two chapters on Jessica Lynch and Katrina, but after reading them I have to agree with his assessments on both.



    14. Wow. This will really make you think twice about the way stories are reported. Goes all the way back to "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war."


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