In their new book, Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan provide a vivid record of the events, conflicts, and social movements shaping our society today. They give voice to ordinary people standing up to corporate and government power across the country and around the world. Their writing and daily work at the grassroots public TV/radio news hour Democracy Now , carried on more than a thousand stations globally and at democracynow.org, casts in stark relief the stories of the silenced majority. These stories are set against the backdrop of the mainstream media's abject failure, with its small circle of pundits who know so little about so much, attempting to explain the world to us and getting it so wrong.
Adapted from "Zinsser on Friday," The American Scholar's National Magazine Award-Winning Essay Series
For nineteen months William Zinsser, author of the best-selling On Writing Well and many other books, wrote a weekly column for the website of the American Scholar magazine. This cornucopia was devoted mainly to culture and the arts, the craft of writing, and travels to remote places, along with the movies, American popular song, email, multitasking, baseball, Central Park, Tina Brown, Pauline Kael, Steve Martin, and other complications of modern life. Written with elegance and humor, these pieces are now collected in The Writer Who Stayed.
"If you value vintage journalism of an old-fashioned vividness and integrity please, please read this book."--Wall Street Journal
"Our 'endlessly supple' English language will, Zinsser says, 'do anything you ask it to do, if you treat it well. Try it and see.' Try him and see craftsmanship."--George F. Will
"Zinsser--who, with On Writing Well, taught a whole lot of us how to set down a clean English sentence--last year won a National Magazine Award for his Friday web columns in The American Scholar. They're now in a collection that's completely charming, impeccably polished, and Strunk-and-White-ishly brief. He's the youngest 90-year-old you'll read this week."--New York Magazine
William Zinsser is a lifelong journalist and nonfiction writer--he began his career on the New York Herald Tribune in 1946--and is also a teacher, best known for his book On Writing Well, a companion held in affection by three generations of writers, reporters, editors, teachers, and students. His 17 other books range from memoir (Writing Places) to travel (American Places), jazz (Mitchell & Ruff), American popular song (Easy to Remember), baseball (Spring Training) and the craft of writing (Writing to Learn). During the 1970s he was at Yale University, where he was master of Branford College and taught the influential nonfiction workshop that would start many writers and editors on their careers. He has taught at the New School, in New York, his hometown, and at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
There's a revolution going on, as ever-accelerating developments in digital information technologies change nearly every aspect of how we live, work, play, do business and engage in politics. Share and share alike--the numbers say it all as billions of people worldwide flock to online media and use social networks to discover and spread news and information.
In the process, ever-growing networks of "ordinary people" are using these powerful new tools to trim the influence long held by Big Business, Big Government and Big Media. No longer just passive recipients, participants in social networks now regularly make and break news while organizing civic and political actions that bypass censors, outpace traditional media, attract massive audiences and influence the rise and fall of brands, industries, politicians and even governments.
In this insider's look at how social media are transforming our world, Rory O'Connor explains the trends and explores what tech visionaries, media makers, political advisers and businesspeople are saying about the meteoric rise of the various social networks of friends and followers, and what they bode for our future.
"Rory O'Connor is one of the smartest media guys around. He knows who's spinning, who's pandering, and who's putting money in his own pocket at the expense of logic, reason, and the public good."--Michael Wolff, Vanity Fair media critic
"This is a timely book about a vital subject: How do we get information and is it reliable? With a 'cold eye, ' author Rory O'Connor shows how traditional journalism cheapened its value by sabotaging its trust, and how the digital revolution wonderfully democratizes information yet often removes the journalistic curator, creating more noise, more ME and less WE news. If you want to understand the future of news, its opportunities and its pitfalls, read this book."--Ken Auletta, author and New Yorker media writer
Rory O'Connor, co-founder of MediaChannel.org, is the author of Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio. He has won two Emmys and a George Orwell Award, among many other honors.
For a quarter century, more than a million readers--scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities--have been inspired by Anne Lamott's hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne's father--also a writer--in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'" An essential volume for generations of writers young and old, Bird by Bird is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come.
There has always been a certain kind of woman in motion pictures -- the girl who stays out late, drinks a little too much, and has sex before marriage. But until 1961, she was always the bad girl, who had to repent for her wild ways before the end of the film. All of that changed with the release of "Breakfast at Tiffany's," when Audrey Hepburn showed the world that a certain kind of woman could also be a heroine.In the first complete account of the making of this iconic film, Sam Wasson presents an abundance of behind-the-scenes facts and delicious gossip: Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe to play the leading role; director Blake Edwards filmed multiple endings, and George Peppard was universally disliked on the set. With a colorful cast of characters that includes Colette, Edith Head, Givenchy and Henry Mancini, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. is the perfect guide to the movie that democratized glamour and paved the way for the social upheaval of the sixties. Sam Wasson studied film at Wesleyan University and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is the author of A Splurch in the Kisser: The Movies of Blake Edwards. He lives in Los Angeles. "Sam Wasson is a fabulous social historian ... Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.] is as melancholy and glittering as Capote's story of Holly Golightly." -- The New Yorker--Leonard Maltin, author of Leonard Maltin's 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen
Americans create 57% of the world's advertising while representing only 6% of its population; half of our waking hours are spent immersed in the mass media. Persuasion has always been integral to the democratic process, but increasingly, thoughtful discussion is being replaced with simplistic soundbites and manipulative messages.Drawing on the history of propaganda as well as on contemporary research in social psychology, Age of Propaganda shows how the tactics used by political campaigners, sales agents, advertisers, televangelists, demagogues, and others often take advantage of our emotions by appealing to our deepest fears and most irrational hopes, creating a distorted vision of the world we live in. This revised and updated edition includes coverage of the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, recent election campaigns, talk radio, teen suicide, U.F.O. abductions, the Columbine shootings, and novel propaganda tactics based on hypocrisy and false allegations.
The authors of Toxic Sludge Is Good for You unmask the sneaky and widespread methods industry uses to influence opinion through bogus experts, doctored data, and manufactured facts.
We count on the experts. We count on them to tell us who to vote for, what to eat, how to raise our children. We watch them on TV, listen to them on the radio, read their opinions in magazine and newspaper articles and letters to the editor. We trust them to tell us what to think, because there's too much information out there and not enough hours in a day to sort it all out.
We should stop trusting them right this second.
In their new book Trust Us, We're Experts : How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future, Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, authors of Toxic Sludge Is Good For You, offer a chilling expos on the manufacturing of "independent experts."
Public relations firms and corporations know well how to exploit your trust to get you to buy what they have to sell: Let you hear it from a neutral third party, like a professor or a pediatrician or a soccer mom or a watchdog group. The problem is, these third parties are usually anything but neutral. They have been handpicked, cultivated, and meticulously packaged in order to make you believe what they have to say--preferably in an "objective" format like a news show or a letter to the editor. And in some cases, they have been paid handsomely for their "opinions."
You think that nonprofit organizations just give away their stamps of approval on products? Bristol-Myers Squibb paid $600,000 to the American Heart Association for the right to display AHA's name and logo in ads for its cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol. SmithKline Beecham paid the American Cancer Society $1 million for the right to use its logo in ads for Beecham's Nicoderm CQ and Nicorette anti-smoking ads.
You think that a study out of a prestigious university is completely unbiased? In 1997, Georgetown University's Credit Research Center issued a study which concluded that many debtors are using bankruptcy as an excuse to wriggle out of their obligations to creditors. Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen cited the study in a Washington Times column and advocated for changes in federal law to make it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy relief. What Bentsen failed to mention was that the Credit Research Center is funded in its entirety by credit card companies, banks, retailers, and others in the credit industry; that the study itself was produced with a $100,000 grant from VISA USA, Inc. and MasterCard International; and that Bentsen himself had been hired to work as a credit-industry lobbyist.
You think that all grassroots organizations are truly grassroots? In 1993, a group called Mothers Opposing Pollution (MOP) appeared, calling itself "the largest women's environmental group in Australia, with thousands of supporters across the country." Their cause: A campaign against plastic milk bottles. It turned out that the group's spokesperson, Alana Maloney, was in truth a woman named Janet Rundle, the business partner of a man who did P.R. for the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers--the makers of paper milk cartons.
You think that if a scientist says so, it must be true? In the early 1990s, tobacco companies secretly paid thirteen scientists a total of $156,000 to write a few letters to influential medical journals. One biostatistician received $10,000 for writing a single, eight-paragraph letter that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A cancer researcher received $20,137 for writing four letters and an opinion piece to the Lancet, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and The Wall Street Journal.
Rampton and Sta...
In Branded, Alissa Quart takes us to the dark side of marketing to teens, showing readers a disturbingly fast-paced world in which adults shamelessly insinuate themselves into "friendships" with young people in order to monitor what they wear, eat, listen to, and buy. We travel to a conference on advertising to teenagers and witness the breathless and insensitive pronouncements of lecturers there. We meet the unofficial teen "sales force" for a new girls' perfume (the unpaid daughters of the company's saleswomen) and observe the attempts of mega-corporations to purchase the time and space for product-placement in schools. We witness the aggressive and potentially emotionally damaging ways in which adults seek to control vulnerable young minds and wallets. But we also witness the bravery of isolated and increasingly Internet-linked kids who attempt to turn the tables on the cocksure corporations that so cynically strive to manipulate them.Eye-opening and urgent, Branded exposes and condemns a segment of American business whose high-paid job it is to reduce teens to their lowest common denominator, to systematically sap youth of individuality and creativity. Engaging and thought provoking, Branded ensures that consumers will never look at the American way of doing business in the same way again.In Branded, author Alissa Quart spotlights the most nefarious of youth marketing techniques, revealing eye-opening facts about the commercialization of today's teens, including: --31 million teens now spend upwards of 153 billion on leisure expenses- clothing, CDs, and makeup-a year. 55% of American high-school seniors work more than three hours a day to earn the money to fulfill their need for stuff.--A growing number of high schools are sponsored by corporations. Textbooks regularly mention Oreo cookies and math problems contain Nike logos. Teenagers not only play ball in gyms rimmed with logos but also spend their English classes coming up with advertising slogans for sponsors, all under the auspices of their so-called public schools.--In the last two years, cosmetic surgery rates for teens have gone from 1% to 3% of the total 4.6 million surgeries performed each year. Teen liposcution has doubled; breast augmentation has increased by almost a third in the last five years.