Book Review: News from Nowhere by Edward Jay Epstein

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Joshua Caesar E. Medroso
AB MC-2A
News from Nowhere: Television and the News by Edward Jay Epstein A Book Review

Edward Jay Epstein started his book with a quotation “Our reporters do not cover stories from their point of view; they are presenting them from nobody’s point of view”, which was a statement from the President of Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Richard S. Salant. The book, which primarily talks about the television news, shows a lot of information about how television news works way before the 1980s; the structure of a television network and the values and rules it follows, the process of selecting and broadcasting reliable, truthful news and the added outputs about the major happenings in the world were defined in the book. Moreover, there were also some quite interesting numbers of information inscribed in the book: the conflict of networks and the government, the struggle of network in terms of its economic race, the role of television in the society and a whole lot more. The term “television news” is a shortened term used for “television-mediated news”. People around the world watch television news everyday. This news medium, unlike any other, profoundly shapes the picture of the society. Television, simply “TV”, is a “mirror” of society according to Epstein. He assumed that this medium is analogous to a mirror for reflecting the faces in the society based on the occurrence of events within it. This idea was quite true, for what instantly happens in front of the mirror, it always projects the perfect image, what we act in front of a mirror, the mirror copies it impeccably. TV shows the activities in our world: the rise of modern places, the conflicts between the rich and poor, and many more. Furthermore, television, if considered a mirror, is one complicated mirror, and that’s what Epstein tries to show in his book.

This metaphor used by Epstein quite took my attention as I went through the first chapter of his book. Surprisingly, I...
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