The Media Show
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The Media Show

The Changing Face of the News, 1985-1990

By Edwin Diamond





The Media Show is a lively analysis of one of the underreported major stories of our time: the growing power and influence of the media. In these essays and reports critic Edwin Diamond takes a hard look at the methods of the American media during a period of heightened competition and increased conglomeration, focusing on the way news stories are shaped, and sometimes distorted. Diamond first considers some of the consequences of the new order created by richer technologies and lowered aspirations. He explores the mixed results of this new system, including marked changes in American broadcasting as the networks downsize their expenditures to news and public affairs coverage. There is, he notes, often a serious conflict within networks between the public good and the bottom line, a conflict that the news media generally chooses not to examine. Diamond then scrutinizes the role of style and personality on television. Next he turns to specific examples of television coverage of the defining topics of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the arrival of cable technology and CNN, which changed the way wars and crises are covered; how some members of the media practiced "unsafe journalism" in their reports on AIDS; the role the media assumed as the "moral police" in recent election campaigns; the way race and class influenced crime stories such as the Tawana Brawley and the Central Park jogger cases; how the media has often seemed "married to the mob" in its reporting about reputed godfather John Gotti; and the changes in White House press coverage as Ronald Reagan was succeeded by George Bush. Diamond concludes by proposing several ideas for creating new media structures.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262041256 244 pp. | 8.1 in x 5.7 in


  • Diamond is one of the shrewdest critics of the press. His analysis and case studies are well-written and insightful. Any student of the emerging field of press/politics will gain much from The Media Show.

    Marvin Kalb

    Director, Edward R. Murrow Professor of Press and Public Policy

  • With this collection, Ed Diamond maintains his position as America's sassiest, most accessible media critics.

    David M. Rubin

    Dean, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Syracuse University

  • Few observers of media instututions in the United States are as well-placed as Edwin diamond. His geographic base is New York City. His home venue, New York Magazine is read by a disproportionate number of media decision makers. Consequently, he commands a rare degree of access to his subject matter, and his reports, once printed, enjoy an unusually influential audience. In The Media Show, Diamond covers a remarkably eventful period in the history of American news gathering. Diamond was able to engage much of teh ferment in those years, and his dispatches are of considerable value to those who follow the evolution of American journalism. Well-suited for the informed layperson, this book is also a valuable record for sophisticated students of the media culture.

    Ralph Whitehead

    University of Massachusetts