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Breaking News

The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now

Alan Rusbridger

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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ISBN10: 0374279624
ISBN13: 9780374279622


464 Pages



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Technology has radically altered the news landscape. Once-powerful newspapers have lost their clout or been purchased by owners with particular agendas. Algorithms select which stories we see. The Internet allows consequential revelations, closely guarded secrets, and dangerous misinformation to spread at the speed of a click.

In Breaking News, Alan Rusbridger demonstrates how these decisive shifts have occurred, and what they mean for the future of democracy. In the twenty years he spent editing The Guardian, Rusbridger managed the transformation of the progressive British daily into the most visited serious English-language newspaper site in the world. He oversaw an extraordinary run of world-shaking scoops, including the exposure of phone hacking by London tabloids, the Wikileaks release of U.S.diplomatic cables, and later the revelation of Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency files. At the same time, Rusbridger helped The Guardian become a pioneer in Internet journalism, stressing free access and robust interactions with readers. Here, Rusbridger vividly observes the media’s transformation from close range while also offering a vital assessment of the risks and rewards of practicing journalism in a high-impact, high-stress time.


Praise for Breaking News

"The brilliant Breaking News is essential – and entertaining – reading for anyone who cares a whit about the hallmark of a democratic state being more than a lavatory wall."—Harold Evans, The Guardian

"Through this fascinating inside account, each chapter worthy of its own book, Rusbridger discusses how [The Guardian] adopted new ways to publish to the internet and smartphones, as well as libel suits, Wikileaks, Edward Snowden and the experience of other news outlets. A must for anyone concerned with the state of journalism today. "Library Journal

"Rusbridger . . . shows us continually in his lucid and sometimes-alarming text that technological and cultural changes have occurred so rapidly that newspapers barely had time to inhale before their centuries-old institutions began to crumble, then to reassemble into something quite unrecognizable only a generation ago. . . . He highlights the questions that the traditional media were asking themselves: Should we charge readers for online access? How much? And how? (Rusbridger tells us of plans that worked and others that failed.)"—Kirkus Reviews

“Rusbridger’s Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now is a vivid and compelling insider’s account of how he and other journalists, including those in the United States, coped with [technological] changes . . . Breaking News details how The Guardian managed to land major scoops, including the truth about phone hacking perpetrated by London tabloids and the disclosure of U.S. diplomatic cables . . . [An] important memoir of a great editor’s experience.”—Roger Bishop, BookPage

Reviews from Goodreads


Read an Excerpt


By early 2017 the world had woken up to a problem that, with a mixture of impotence, incomprehension and dread, journalists had seen coming for some time. News – the thing that helped people understand their world; that...

About the author

Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger was editor in chief of Guardian News and Media from 1995 to 2015. He is the author of Play It Again: An Amateur Against the Impossible and is currently chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

© Vivek Bendre/The Hindu

Alan Rusbridger

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