Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between - The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies (Hardback)
  • Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between - The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies (Hardback)
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Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between - The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in American Studies (Hardback)

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£19.95
Hardback 192 Pages
Published: 30/10/2017
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In this timely book, a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter trains an autobiographical lens on a moment of remarkable transition in American journalism. Just a few years ago, the mainstream press was wrestling with whether labeling waterboarding as torture violated important norms of neutrality and objectivity. Now, major American newspapers regularly call the president of the United States a liar. Clearly, something has changed as the old rules of “balance” and “two sides to every story” have lost their grip. Is the change for the better? Will it last?

In Just a Journalist, Linda Greenhouse—who for decades covered the U.S. Supreme Court for The New York Times—tackles these questions from the perspective of her own experience. A decade ago, she faced criticism from her own newspaper and much of journalism’s leadership for a speech to a college alumnae group in which she criticized the Bush administration for, among other things, seeking to create a legal black hole at Guantánamo Bay—two years after the Supreme Court itself had ruled that the detainees could not be hidden away from the reach of federal judges who might hear their appeals.

One famous newspaper editor expressed his belief that it was unethical for a journalist to vote, because the act of choosing one candidate over another could compromise objectivity. Linda Greenhouse disagrees. Calling herself “an accidental activist,” she raises urgent questions about the role journalists can and should play as citizens, even as participants, in the world around them.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674980334
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 181 x 111 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A delightful, engaging book. I like its personal tone and its feisty, argumentative character. - Michael Schudson, author of The Rise of the Right to Know

Greenhouse shows what significant strides journalism has made in what she calls ‘the post-truth age,’ when news stories and headlines now employ language once reserved for opinion pieces or for private conversations among journalists…This brief book of argument and anecdote presents a minefield of challenges that journalism itself is far from unified over how to face. And the ground keeps shifting as the mainstream press does its best to remain a watchdog while resisting the label of adversary. - Kirkus Reviews

Greenhouse entwines a personal career history with a larger examination of the challenges her profession faces in an increasingly fractious political landscape. - Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe

The veteran New York Times journalist offers a refreshing and fearless challenge to some of journalism’s most revered—and ossified— principles, drawing from her first-hand experience…The final essay of Greenhouse’s book is indeed more memoir than argument, and it’s a fascinating and delightful read. Especially interesting are her reflections on how the Internet has changed the newsroom…Just a Journalist is a short, precise, top-notch read: illuminating about life as a journalist over the past four decades, but more importantly provocative and intellectually stimulating on some of the core issues facing journalism today. For anyone who cares about the media and its relationship to democracy, her book is a must-read. - Hans Rollman, PopMatters

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