With increasing numbers of people tuning out the nightly news and media consumption falling, late-night comedians have become some of the most important newscasters in the country. From Cronkite to Colbert explains why. It examines a historical path that begins at the height of the network age with Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow-when the evening news was considered the authoritative record of the day's events and forged our assumptions about what the news is, or should be. The book then winds its way through the breakdown of the paradigm of real news and into its reinvention in the unlikely form of such shows as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. From Cronkite to Colbert makes the case that rather than fake news, these shows should be understood as a new kind of journalism, one that has the potential to save the news and reinvigorate the conversation on democracy in today's society. Winner of the 2010 NCA Award for Outstanding Book in Political Communication! FEATURES BL Uses a tripartite analytical framework for tracking the history of broadcast news from Cronkite to Colbert: high modern, postmodern, and neomodern BL Puts recent media developments in context with intellectual and philosophical history including the writings of Wittgenstein, Bahktin, and Foucault BL Explains the concept and action of media convergence clearly and critically BL Looks at the post network age in news history and illustrates the problems and possibilities of the era of digital instability in which many media platforms-cable, satellite, internet, smart phones, and more-converge to create a new life after TV BL Plays with w familiar media images-Ted Koppel's big head; Jon Stewart's repetitive clip technique; Stephen Colbert's The Word feature-in order to illustrate media postmodernity
Geoffrey Baym is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on the changing styles and standards of news media and political discourse. He has worked as a newswriter, reporter, and researcher for media outlets such as the CBS Network News, KSL Television in Salt Lake City, and the Tucson Citizen.