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The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media

by Brooke Gladstone, Josh Neufeld (Illustrator)

Other authors: Susann Ferris-Jones (Illustrator), Randy Jones (Illustrator)

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3872651,420 (4.05)23
The cohost of NPR's "On the Media" narrates, in cartoon form, two millennia of history of the influence of the media on the populace, from newspapers in Caesar's Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution to today.

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Brilliant look at the history of media and its relationship to audiences and government. A graphic novel to boot. Worthy of about 16 rereads. ( )
  Smokler | Jan 3, 2021 |
This surprised me. I was sure that I wasn't going to like it, but I did. I'm constantly ticked off by the media. Constantly. I can't watch more than five minutes of the mainstream news before a new stress twitch starts somewhere around my eyes. It's not new for me. My media "black pill" was back in the mid-80s when someone I knew was murdered and I had to read the press coverage in the NYC press. I don't completely believe anything they say unless I can verify it with at least two or three other sources.

I developed the habit of checking and rechecking events that mattered to me. With the advent of the Internet, it became so much easier to track down sources. I wasn't confined to the library to do my checking on important stuff. I had a huge resource sitting in my house. I could go to other sources, listen to multiple sides of an issue and find witnesses to an event talking directly to the public. So much better.

Gladstone essentially says the same thing. We shouldn't trust what we read or hear. We should check and double check the things that are important to us. Don't rely on Twitter for the news. Figure out what those Facebook posts really mean. And most important, don't blame the media when you misinterpret things. Headlines are not the news. Headlines sell the paper (or get the clicks). That's what they are meant to do.

So yeah! The illustrations kept this light-hearted and she had a lot of really good things to say. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
This is a book about Rhetoric, which gets such short shrift these days that I don't have a shelf for it. It was an assigned text for Veronica, and I see something catching lying around, I have to snake it from other family members, otherwise they wouldn't know where to look for it. If you're unfamiliar with rhetoric, this makes a fabulous introduction, and if you already know about it, you'll enjoy how everything is tied to modern media. The graphic novel format makes it feel lighter than it would otherwise, a delightful way to slip in education. Gladstone knows whereof she writes: she's been covering media for NPR for quite a few years. Excellent.

Copy borrowed from high school text collection ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
This is a thoughtful look at the history of the media. It might be helpful to use in certain classrooms. ( )
  EllsbethB | Aug 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
“The Influencing Machine,” for all its energy and good intentions, can feel beside the point. It would make a dandy textbook for an undergraduate journalism class, and perhaps that’s the real audience. But for engaged media consumers, it feels a bit like old news.
The overall result is a nice balance of serious theory and light humor about an often absurd subject.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brooke Gladstoneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Neufeld, JoshIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferris-Jones, SusannIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, RandyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The cohost of NPR's "On the Media" narrates, in cartoon form, two millennia of history of the influence of the media on the populace, from newspapers in Caesar's Rome to the penny press of the American Revolution to today.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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