A powerful and profound study of the news – how we read it, who controls it and why it matters – from former Guardian Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger
How do we know any more what is true and what isn’t? We are living through the greatest communication revolution since Gutenberg in which falsehood regularly seems to overwhelm truth. In Breaking News Alan Rusbridger offers an urgent and agenda-setting examination of the past, present and future of the press, and the forces menacing its freedom.
The news media have been disrupted by huge and fast-moving changes. The growth of social media and with it the ability of billions of people to publish has created a vast amount of unreliable and false news which now competes with, and sometimes drowns, more established forms of journalism. The President of the United States regularly lies to the public and brands his critics ‘fake’. Politicians openly rubbish the views of ‘so-called experts’. Where can we look for reliable, verifiable sources of news and information? What does all this mean for democracy? And what will the future hold?
Reflecting on his twenty years as editor of the Guardian; and his experience of breaking some of the most significant news stories of our time, including the Edward Snowden revelations, phone-hacking, WikiLeaks and the Keep it in the Ground campaign, Rusbridger answers these questions and offers a stirring defence of why quality journalism matters now more than ever.
“[Rusbridger] has written a book of breathtaking range … The brilliant Breaking News is essential - and entertaining - reading”
Sir Harold Evans
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“I particularly enjoyed Alan Rusbridger’s Breaking News – in places it’s as exciting as a thriller (and the good guys win) but it also gave me a new understanding of the difficulties that now confront good journalism”
new Statesman, Best Books Of 2018
“Just when we were feeling lost in the dark labyrinth of fake news and journalism in crisis, Alan Rusbridger lights his torch and leads the way. Essential”
“Well written and unskimped, this will be a painful document when we wake up one morning with nothing to read at breakfast except our smartphones”
times Literary Supplement, Best Books Of The Year
“The book [Rusbridger] has written is eloquent in its argument for well-resourced journalism, and never better than in its central narrative of how an old profession struggled to cope with a new technology that threatened it with obsolescence”
Alan Rusbridger was Editor-in-Chief of Guardian News & Media from 1995 to 2015. He launched the Guardian in the US and Australia as well as building a website which today attracts more than 100 million unique browsers a month. The paper’s coverage of phone-hacking led to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and ethics. Guardian US won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service for its leading global coverage of the Snowden revelations. He is the author of Play It Again. He lives in London and Oxford, where he is Principal of Lady Margaret Hall and chairs the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. arusbridger.com | @arusbridger
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian from 1995-2015 and author of Breaking News, on experiencing the complete upheaval of the news business from the inside.