An eye-opening, relevant and cautionary book.

THE FIRST AMENDMENT BUBBLE

HOW PRIVACY AND PAPARAZZI THREATEN A FREE PRESS

A lawyerly look at what threatens journalistic free speech liberties.

As a former journalist, Gajda (Law/Tulane Univ.; The Trials of Academe: The New Era of Campus Litigation, 2009) critiques and advises on matters of privacy and free speech with a keen journalistic eye. She explores the ways public scrutiny by news media (while protected under the guise of “newsworthiness”) tarnishes the notion of public privacy. As First Amendment constitutional protections for the press continue to expand, the “balance between privacy rights and public interests” becomes increasingly skewed. The author cites the current wave of ubiquitous social media, where personal information is willingly and willfully disseminated, as a prime instigator fueling the privacy rights debate. But at what point do First Amendment rights trump personal privacy rights? Her thoughtful discussion includes chapters juxtaposing journalism’s former golden age with the lax media standards of today’s paparazzi and shock reporters, where “push-the-envelope behavior has elevated privacy concerns to new levels.” Writing in concise, authoritative language, Gajda reiterates the significance of free speech, freedom of the press and the preservation of personal liberties within a complex debate that has become frustratingly blurred by legal ambiguities and loopholes. Fully utilizing (if overly reliant upon) pivotal court cases, she also highlights ruthless vigilante programs like To Catch a Predator and stories of misbehaving celebrities who have been scrutinized for wrongdoings by exploitative websites infamous for straddling ethical boundaries. Ultimately, Gajda writes, this is subject matter that will fester for decades as digital and social media erode the protective facade of personal privacy and evaporate the guidelines of what is considered newsworthy. She concludes with an appeal for change in how the law appropriates the First Amendment framework in both the private sector and within news media circles.

An eye-opening, relevant and cautionary book.

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0674368323

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2014

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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