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Confessions of an American Media Man: What They Don't Tell You at Journalism School [Paperback]

Tom Plate

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Book Description

1 May 2007 9812613153 978-9812613158
For better or for worse, the news media in the United States has huge worldwide coverage and influence. However, little is actually known about its inner workings, inherent logic and deeply embedded customs. In this revealing and brutally honest autobiography, veteran American journalist, Tom Plate, describes to his reader what it is actually like to work as part of a large media organisation. The author, who is a syndicated newspaper columnist, as well as a teacher at the University of California (UCLA), takes the reader behind the scenes of iconic media institutions, such as "Time" magazine, the "Los Angeles Times" and "New York" magazine. He presents everyday factors of the media life, such as, the reality of the deadline, the speed of the news cycle, the inevitability of office politics, the debilitating impact of political correctness and the occasional great joys of journalism.

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About the Author

Tom Plate's biweekly syndicated column on America and Asia, now in its 11th year of publication, appears frequently in major newspapers in cities worldwide. Over his three-decade career, he has received major journalism awards and recognition, including awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. He has additionally published five books and is a full time professor of Communication studies at the University of California (UCLA).

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Unmediocure Media Man.... 19 May 2008
By Eric L. Haschert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Author of this book seems to have a hard time explaining what he is most proud of about his career in media. Yet he does so with a self effacement equal only to that of Ghandi. He wants to brag yet does not. I think it would have been better had he bragged. Anyway the book is very intersting and informative about how he managed to carve out a career in journalism for himself. Something that seems to be difficult yet he seems to have pulled it off without a hitch. He does have many legitimate successes that he should rightly be proud of yet he seems embarassed to toot his own horn. He is very happy to give the credit for his success to others whom he has admired and who had mentored him in his early years and even today. If you don't mind his awkwardness you'll get alot out of this book. Like he said they don't tell you what he does in school. I am glad he wrote this book because I know how you can unintentionally be blind to the bigger picture around you. Which is what makes this book good. An accurate description of the bigger picture and how not to get side tracked or misled into making the wrong decision. He also explains and rightly so how your integrity may be tested by that of others in situations where you need to keep it in mind that your integrity is what is important not getting a big scoop. He speaks a lot about how much character you have and how to rightly develope and use what you've got. All in all I am glad I bought this book because it shows me the side of journalism you often hear about but never get an example of. It also takes the focus off of what many journalists believe is the sacred cow and tells us what is most sacred about that cow and why it should be protected.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stories on how the business really works 17 April 2013
By EMGarcia2009 - Published on Amazon.com
My sister has taken classes with Prof Tom, as he prefers to be called, so she introduced me to him and he gave me a signed copy of this book. As a student in journalism school, I can honestly say I value this book as much as an AP style book. Throughout the book, Prof Tom gives great tips on how to be a good journalist, whether it is establishing the right kind of relationships, learning when to walk away from a job, or just how to push your luck interview-wise. Along the way, you run into some heavyweights in the world of politics like Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton (a person who Plate seems to favor) or in journalism like Bill Moyers, Clay Felker, and Michael A. Grunwald. Asia gets a good bit of play in his book, which is natural considering that is his expertise. This past semester I participated in a pilot program where I reported from my state's General Assembly and I took many of his tips when it came to interviewing state senators and other policy makers.

My one critique is that at times he does one too many asides or that at times his self-deprecation turns into schtick.
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