Detecting Bull: How to Identify Bias and Junk Journalism in Print, Broadcast and on the Wild Web



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What's unique about this book?



















"I loved it in form and content. One of the best combinations of (1) an assessment/description of the current state of journalism; (2) explication of the reasons why journalism is in its current state; (3) presentation of not only what we've lost but more importantly the limits of the "traditional" model of professional journalism even when it was in its heyday; (4) suggestions for how journalism might be improved; and (5) guides for how citizens might assess/get the most out of the current information environment even with its severe problems. I also found the structure and ability to navigate (once I downloaded the proper software!) easy and efficient to use."
-- Prof. Michael X. Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania

"Detecting Bull is an outstanding piece of work -- cogently organized, user-friendly in its presentation and full of great material. Real life examples are especially helpful and provocative (always great for classroom discussions)."
-- Prof. Judy Muller, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, University of Southern California, and former ABC correspondent and NPR commentator

"Bottom line:  It's great.  It is a thoughtful but very direct argument on behalf of what's important about journalism, written in a way that both practitioners and students can understand. I really like the multi-channel nature of the volume.  Your design makes it easy for the reader to access your sources and to link out to documents and other products featured in the book. Students will love that, I suspect, and we older fuddy duddies are slowly learning how useful this kind of packaging can be.

"The book also takes on the kind of cognitive roadblocks that make it hard for a journalist to set aside her/his own set of blinders when trying to glimpse "truth."  Students love to think about these issues, and the book will foster that." 
--Prof. Sharon Dunwoody, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin, former president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

"What makes this book so refreshing is that it lacks the breast-beating and mea culpas so common among journalists who write about the current state of the news media. Instead, the book offers readers a way to empower themselves to make sense of the enormous diversity of news and information sources available to them. Detecting Bull offers educators an attractive and easy-to-navigate resource for building news literacy skills. This e-book will be effective for use with college students -- and could be used with advanced high-school students, or as part of a professional development program for K-12 educators.

"With Detecting Bull, John McManus has created an important educational resource that will transform even the most disaffected among us into engaged, active citizens."
-- Prof. Renee Hobbs, Founder of the Media Education Lab, Temple University

"Detecting Bull is a important contribution to media literacy efforts that shows how the media environment
and processes and practices of journalism create performance challenges for news media and lead to
distortion and omissions that slant and bias coverage. It teaches how to assess the quality of the news
individuals receive and provides means for effective evaluations of the performance of news organizations."
-- Prof. Robert Picard, Editor, Journal of Media Business Studies and Fellow at Reuters Institute
for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University

"I love your book! I love all the points you make in your chapters about the need for a free press and the myriad of ways in which our current press system is failing us. I’m definitely making Detecting Bull a required text for my Advanced Reporting class for this fall. I really enjoy having the references right there as you’re reading, and the links to online content are wonderful. I also really like the layout of the text. I found it easy to use and attractive to the eye."
--Prof. Berrin A. Beasley, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Blue Cross Blue Shield Center for Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions, University of North Florida

"I think it is a marvelous piece of work that you have accomplished. Very nice looking and very easy to read and navigate. And some very good reasoning on truth and obstacles to truth and other principal issues."
-- Torbjörn von Krogh, Swedish journalist and media accountability scholar

"One could think of the Detecting Bull DVD as an inoculation against poor journalism, but it is medicine that students will enjoy taking.The first six chapters provide excellent presentations of the principles underlying the importance of truthful and high-quality journalism. The last three chapters are unique to the DVD and set this text apart from others. In effect, students learn how to conduct systematic content analysis to determine whether news items meet appropriate standards of quality.

"I would encourage any professor who teaches about news media to consider using this DVD. Everyone who participates in the political process should learn to evaluate news quality and bias, and this DVD will help people to better understand the news that affects them."
-- Prof. Stephen Lacy, media economist, College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Michigan State University

"With Detecting Bull, John McManus has designed a unique resource for journalism professionals, students,
news consumers, and anyone else interested in understanding and unraveling this complicated and often
confusing modern media environment. With its clear explanations, thought-provoking questions and real-life
examples, Detecting Bull is comprehensive and certainly one of a kind."  
-- Prof. Marilyn Greenwald, Scripps School of Journalism, University of Ohio

"If you're interesting in making journalism better and teaching news analysis in ways that value critical
thinking and civic engagement over cynicism or simplistic attack, Detecting Bull is a great place to start." 
-- Dr. Faith Rogow, Founding President, NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education)

"Detecting Bull is a wonderful resource for teaching citizens how to detect bias in news reports and opinions.
In this handy toolkit, John McManus shares some of the techniques he developed at Grade The News to spot
quality journalism. A helpful introduction to news literacy, with practical tips for distinguishing truth from
'truthiness' in the digital age. Every school and library should have a copy of this important guide for news
-- Fabrice Florin - Executive Director,