Jeff Cohen Lecture

My Misadventures in Corporate Media

The lecture that inspired a book: In this entertaining presentation, Jeff Cohen explains why television news has become a national joke and a nightly "Daily Show" punch line, based on his firsthand experience. Cohen started out as an outsider critic but became an insider pundit. He takes his audience on a personal tour of TV news, illuminating what's comical and what's tragic in the news business today.

Few media critics have been afforded an intimate, on-the-job view of the outlets they condemn. Cohen founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986 and in the ensuing years, ended up a paid pundit on all three cable news channels. It's not uncommon to hear criticism from journalists who grew disillusioned with TV news. But Cohen was never "illusioned." He was a skeptic when he first ventured into cable news -- with his antenna alert to the foibles and hypocrisies of television news in the era of entertainment conglomerates.

It's often said that journalism, like sausage making, is an ugly process best unseen by those who wish to enjoy its consumption. Cohen's offers a guided tour inside the sausage factory of TV news.

Besides exploring the insides of corporate media, Cohen highlights the good news in today's media environment: the boom in independent outlets on TV, radio and Internet. Independent media are gaining audience among those fed up with the decline of “mainstream” outlets into jingoism and tabloidism. Independent journalists are breaking stories and making news; thanks to the Internet, they can reach millions of people doing the serious journalistic work now frowned upon in much of the corporate media.

JEFF COHEN is the founder of FAIR, the progressive media watch group based in New York. He devolved from media critic to media pundit, appearing regularly on national TV—including as a co-host of Crossfire on CNN, a weekly News Watch panelist on Fox News and a commentator on MSNBC. He was senior producer of Donahue on MSNBC, until the show was terminated on the eve of the Iraq War. His most recent book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He is the co-author of a number of other books, including Wizards of Media Oz: Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News and The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error.

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Cable News Confidential
My Misadventures in Corporate Media

Wizards of Media Oz
Behind the Curtain of Mainstream News
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press

The Way Things Aren't
Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error
w/Steve Rendall et al, New Press

Through the Media Looking Glass
Decoding Bias and Blather in the News
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press

Adventures in Medialand
Behind the News, Beyond the Pundits
w/Norman Solomon
Common Courage Press