An urgent and cogent (if somewhat breathless) reminder that journalistic ethics must attempt to keep pace with the explosive...



Seib (Campaigns and Conscience, not reviewed) examines the professional, commercial, and ethical pressures on the news media exerted by technologies that make the delivery of information both instantaneous and global.

The author worries about the news media’s pervasive preference for reporting events as they are happening: “Going live,” he says, “is exciting and dramatic. But is it good journalism?” His answer, of course, is primarily negative. Unfolding news is news that by definition has not emerged from an editorial process and thereby makes difficult if not impossible the application of the standards of impartiality that have long been the hallmarks of principled journalism. A number of Seib’s questions are patently rhetorical—e.g., “Should emphasis on speed of delivery override judgments about relevance and taste?” Nonetheless, he raises enough serious questions about the rapidly changing news business to sober anyone but Matt Drudge (who appears throughout as a sort of cyber-bogeyman whose gleeful disregard for traditional journalistic ethics Seib finds most reprehensible). One of the author’s principal objectives is to outline the concept of “convergence”—what he considers the inevitable fusion of print, cable television, and Internet news media. He sketches the obvious advantages to consumers of this imminent merger (improvements in “interactivity” and in the dissemination—via online links—of vast amounts of supplementary information) but warns that editorial discretion must play a more prominent role than it currently does among electronic news outlets. He also identifies new responsibilities that citizens must assume in the information age. There is an occasional “gee-whiz” tone in much of Seib’s descriptions of the (unquestionably exciting) possibilities of online news. And current events sometimes undercut him, as well: He declares, for instance, that exit polling has become so precise in presidential elections that 1948-like embarrassments (Dewey Defeats Truman!) are no longer much of a worry.

An urgent and cogent (if somewhat breathless) reminder that journalistic ethics must attempt to keep pace with the explosive technological revolution.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7425-0900-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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