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Tin Tức Trái Đất Phẳng (2008)

by Nick Davies(Favorite Author)
4.18 of 5 Votes: 2
NXB Dân Trí - Nhã Nam
review 1: Hmm...Although well written overall it didn't seem to flow in places which made it difficult to read. This expose of sorts was definately long overdue in bringing to light the dubious practices of the written press.My main criticism of Davies is he simply doesn't go far enough...and seems to shy away from connecting the dots that only hint at something deeper and possibly more disturbing or perhaps he just wants the readers to make the connections themselves.
review 2: Nick Davies is probably the most valuable reporter we have in the UK. He was, for a while, the only person the Guardian had working on the story that would become the phone hacking scandal - a story whose reverberations could end up collapsing the Murdoch media empire (there's even a slim cha
... morence it could lead to Murdoch himself being prosecuted). This book is vital context for understanding that scandal, but also just vital on its own terms. Its central case is that the global media has become systematically debased and left vulnerable to external manipulation (especially by governments and PR agencies), with the result that citizens are badly misinformed on a range of factual questions, and often led into supporting policies or actions by their governments that they might otherwise have not. The biggest example of this in the book is the Iraq war, where the disgraceful role of The Observer comes in for coruscating criticism. The case is made clearly and thoroughly.It's depressing to read the book six years after it was published and note that many of the journalists whose infidelity to truth and to accuracy the book illustrates are still around, in some cases with their careers thriving. It's also depressing to see how dim the prospects for meaningful regulation of the press still are, even after the comprehensive discredit the industry has finally fallen into.The only real weaknesses of the book are its explanation of how things started to go wrong, and its implicit, background suggestion that they were once vastly better. Some reviewers have accused the book of arguing its case as though there was a previous 'golden age' for journalism in the UK, when there wasn't. But equally, the opposite error can easily be made - a kind of 'twas ever thus' shrug of the shoulders exemplified in Michael Gove's embarrassingly thin testimony to the Leveson Inquiry. The case Davies lays out offers good grounds for thinking there has indeed been a decline, but I think his account of why that decline happened is a little thin. Essentially, he thinks it was the defeat of the print unions by Murdoch at Wapping in 1986 that set the stage for what was to come, because they were the only meaningful counterweight to proprietors' power. I think it's a bit more complicated than that: the prevalent mode of industrial relations in the UK newspaper industry has long been one of aggressive confrontation between printers and proprietors. I think the printers always harbored the suspicion that new technology would be used to break their power (there's a long history of proprietors doing just that in 19th century America). All the same, that delayed what were, in the end, necessary technological changes, sapping profitability and the energy of proprietors (like the Thomsons) who were committed to journalism for its own sake. Murdoch got hold of the Sun because IPC Media were scared to close it down for fear of engendering a strike by the print unions that would harm their remaining papers. He formed a political alliance with Thatcher because it was in both of their interests; in hers, because he was the only figure strong enough to take on the unions and defeat them comprehensively. That an aggressive figure like Murdoch became a major player was probably just the result of the impasse that had been reached between unions and the existing proprietors, perhaps further enabled by the inadequacy of the existing media mergers regime's protections against ownership concentration.So in the background to all this is the fact that the UK has never regulated newspapers for journalistic standards, or even required minimal compliance measures of them to make sure their owners can be held accountable for their journalists breaking the law for private profit (and without a public interest defence). That's led to the development of a market where you can become the market leader while bullying members of the public, perpetrating constant inaccuracies, and even breaking the law on an industrial scale (again, with no suggestion of a public interest defence in the vast majority of stories concerned). But the de-unionisation of the sector might never have happened had there been a system of corporatism to manage relations between unions and proprietors more sensible, and strong print unions might not even have been necessary had their grown up legal restrictions preventing private ownership of newspapers and allowing them solely to be owned and run by charitable trusts like the one that funds The Guardian. I can understand why Nick Davies didn't get into this territory - it would have bogged down what is a quite zippy, easy book to read (it reads as quickly as Davies talks - I think he was the only person who appeared at the Leveson Inquiry whose speed of talking the typists couldn't keep up with). It's also probably another book's worth of material, and maybe an area his journalistic skills leave him a little less suited to investigating. That said, this is an extraordinary book that remains just as relevant six years later, and which can be recommended to absolutely anyone. In fact, the less you know about the media, the more you need to read it. less
Reviews (see all)
A good expose of the how news is manufactured, ill-considered, rushed and generally shallow.
Bit dated now Leveson has happened but makes you look at news stories in a different way.
Worth reading if you're interested in the Leveson Inquiry. Shocking and true.
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