News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media by Ahmed Al-Rawi

The Blurb On The Back:

Offers fresh insights and empirical evidence on the producers, consumers, and content of News 2.0

News 2.0 has forever changed the news business.  This second generation of news is made, distributed, and consumed on the internet, particularly social media.  News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media examines the ways in which news production is sometimes biased and how social networking sites (SNS) have become highly personalised news platforms that reflect users’ preferences and world views.  Drawing from empirical evidence, this book provides a critical and analytical assessment of recent developments, major debates, and contemporary research on news, social media, and news organisations worldwide.

Author Ahmed Al-Ravi highlights how, despite the proliferation of news on social media, consumers are often confined within filter “bubbles”.  Emphasising non-Western media outlets, the text explores the content, audiences, and producers of News 2.0, and addresses direct impacts on democracy, politics, and institutions.  Topics include viral news on SNS, celebrity journalists and branding, “fake news” discourse, and the emergence of mobile news apps as ethnic mediascapes.  Integrating computational journalism methods and cross-national comparative research, this unique volume:

– Examines different aspects of news bias such as news content and production, emphasising news values theory.

– Assesses how international media organisations including CNN, BBC, and RT address non-Western news audiences.

– Discusses concepts such as audience fragmentation on social media, viral news, networked flak, click bait, and internet bots.

– Employs novel techniques in text mining such as topic modelling to provide a holistic overview of news selection.

News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media is an innovative and illuminating resource for undergraduate and graduate students of media, communication, and journalism studies as well as media and communication scholars, media practitioners, journalists, and general readers with interest in the subject.

You can order NEWS 2.0: JOURNALISTS, AUDIENCES, AND NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA by Ahmed Al-Rawi from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Journalism: Why It Matters by Michael Schudson

The Blurb On The Back:

Despite the criticisms that have been levelled at news organisations in recent years and the many difficulties they face, journalism matters.  It matters, argues Schudson, because it orients people daily in the complex and changing worlds in which they live.  It matters because it offers a fact-centred, documented approach to pertinent public issues.  It matters because it keeps watch on the powerful, especially those in government, and can press upon them unpleasant truths to which they must respond.  Corruption is stemmed, unwise initiatives stopped, public danger averted because of what journalists do.

This book challenges journalists to think hard about what they really do.  It challenges skeptical news audiences to be mindful not only of media bias but also of their own biases and how these can distort their perception.  And it holds out hope that journalism will be for years to come a path for ambitious, curious young people who love words or pictures or numbers and want to use them to improve the public conversation in familiar ways or in ways yet to be imagined.

You can order JOURNALISM: WHY IT MATTERS by Michael Schudson from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Moneyland by Oliver Bullough

The Blurb On The Back:

These are the men who stole the world.

Investigative journalist Oliver Bullough reveals the obscene dark side of globalised finance, a shadow realm of oligarchs and gangsters, unimaginable power and zero accountability.  It’s a place you are unlikely to visit, but you can see its effects everywhere.  Just look around.

How did we get here?  In the 1950s, a small group of bankers in London had a clever idea: ‘offshore’, an imaginary zone where money could flow free.  Their breakthrough created a vast reservoir of secret wealth, one that bends the laws of every nation on Earth in order to protect its masters.

Thanks to offshore, for the first time thieves could dream big.  They could take everything – which is exactly what they will do, unless we stop them.  

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

Hired: Undercover In Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth

The Blurb On The Back:

Zero-hours contracts and the gig economy have redefined the relationship between companies and their workers: for many, careers are low-paid and high-risk, a series of short-term jobs with no security and little future.  In this essential exposé, James Bloodworth goes undercover to investigate how working life has become a waking nightmare.  From the Orwellian reach of an Amazon warehouse and the high-turnover rate of a telesales factory in Wales to the time trials of a council care worker and the grim reality behind the glossy Uber App, Hired is a clear-eyed analysis of a divided nation and a riveting dispatch from the very frontline of low-wage Britain. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »

How To Murder By Your Life by Cat Marnell

The Blurb On The Back:

”I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America.  That’s all that most people knew about me.  But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was a drug addict, for one.  A pillhead.  I was also an alcoholic-in-training who guzzled warm Veuve Clicquot after work alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving and manipulative uptown doctor-shopper; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly, wildly hallucination-prone insomniac; a tweaky self-mutilator; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl; and – perhaps most of all – a lonely weirdo.  But, you know, I had access to some really fantastic self-tanner.” 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

Read More »