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Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media.

Lee and Solomon's examination of bias in the news media is a provocative and compelling read. Exploring a range of topics from corporate and government control of the media to sexual and racial prejudice in the media, the authors portray an industry where "the freedom of the press" is more illusion than reality.

The authors contend the powers-that-be in the news media, including corporate sponsors and government PR agencies, define the newsworthiness and slant of national and world events. According to Lee and Solomon:

The present-day horizons of American journalism are as truncated as its short paragraphs and brief sound bites. News reports offer glimpses of a wide world -- but shredded, as if confetti for a tacit celebration of an "open" society that remains woefully insular and ill-informed. The most powerful restraints on reporters, internalized and implemented as self-censorship, are rooted in media ownership patterns. Stories that challenge official viewpoints or powerful vested interests are given short shrift by the mainstream press and thus have little impact, while policy-driven themes are hammered home over and over again until they become synonymous with public opinion. Amidst the incessant clatter of corporate and government PR machinery, dissenting voices are barely audible.(335)

Considering the enormous influence news media have on our culture, Lee and Solomon's critical examination is both timely and crucial. The book is clearly written, provides abundant examples and documentation. In brief, Unreliable Sources is a fascinating look at bias and the internal workings of the news media.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Cook, Christopher P.
Publication:ETC.: A Review of General Semantics
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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