Informing the News: The Need for Knowledge-Based Journalism
Never before has the public had access to such a glut of information, and never before has the information been so unreliable. Can citizens who are ill-informed make the decisions they are charged with? And is an inadequately informed public worse than a misinformed one?
Informing the News is a persuasive little book that takes a critical look at how journalism these days does a serious disservice to the people it’s supposed to inform. Author Thomas E. Patterson argues that knowledge-based journalism is not a cure-all, but rather serves to provide a “steady supply of trustworthy and relevant news that Americans now lack, but sorely need.”
As a concerned citizen in general, this book has great merit, systematically pointing out the goals of the system and the subsequent breakdown that we’ve seen, due largely to misinformation, a preference for reporting only the negative as “serious news,” and manipulation of the truth by sources. Drawing heavily from early Twentieth century journalist Walter Lippmann, Patterson also argues that while media is largely at fault for the current state of bad information, he also shows how good journalism practices can reverse their actions and once again become the lifeblood of democracy.
Thomas E. Patterson