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Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital [Hardcover]

Stephen B. Shepard
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2012

A Top Editor’s Take on the State of Journalism Today—and His Prescient Forecast of Its Future

“This is a personal and insightful book about one of the most important questions of our time: how will journalism make the transition to the digital age? Steve Shepard made that leap bravely when he went from being a great magazine editor to the first dean of the City University of New York journalism school. His tale is filled with great lessons for us all.”
—Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Steve Jobs

“An insightful and convivial account of a bright, bountiful life dedicated to words, information and wonder.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"This is two compelling books in one: Shepard’s story of his life in print journalism, and a clearheaded look at the way journalism is evolving due to electronic media, social networking, and the ability of anyone with a computer and an opinion to make him- or herself heard."

Shepard's book will resonate with many and should be read by anyone interested in the flow of information today and its simpact on society as a whole."
—Library Journal

“The book is in part a memoir, a tale of a life lived at the height of print journalism when print journalism itself was at its height. But it is also an analysis, an examination of the new challenges facing an old industry as it ambles and occasionally sprints its way into the digital age.”
—The Washington Post

About the Book:

“My personal passage is, in many ways, a microcosm of the larger struggle within the journalism profession to come to terms with the digital reckoning. Will the new technologies enhance journalism . . . or water it down for audiences with diminished attention spans? What new business models will emerge to sustain quality journalism?”

Stephen B. Shepard has seen it all. Editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek for more than 20 years, Shepard helped transform the magazine into one of the most respected voices of its time. But after his departure, he saw it collapse—another victim of the digital age.

In Deadlines and Disruption, Shepard recounts his five decades in journalism—a time of radical transformations in the way news is developed, delivered, and consumed. Raised in the Bronx, Shepard graduated from City College and Columbia, joined BusinessWeek as a reporter, and rose to the top editorial post. He has closed the circle by returning to the university that spawned him, founding the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

In the digital age, anyone can be a journalist. Opinion pieces are replacing original reporting as the coin of the realm. And an entire generation is relying on Facebook friends and Twitter feeds to tell them what to read.

Is this the beginning of an irreversible slide into third-rate journalism? Or the start of a better world of interactive, multimedia journalism? Will the news industry live up to its responsibility to forge a well-informed public?

Shepard tackles all the tough questions facing journalists, the news industry, and, indeed, anyone who understands the importance of a well-informed public in a healthy democracy.

The story of Shepard’s career is the story of the news industry—and in Deadlines and Disruption, he provides peerless insight into one of the most critical issues of our time.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071802649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071802642
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 14.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,730,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

In Deadlines and Disruption, Stephen B. Shepard chronicles his nearly 50 years in the news business—landing his first job as a reporter, finding stories, meeting deadlines, and working his way up to become editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek, where he presided over some of the most important stories of the age.

Primarily, though, this is a story of upheaval, transition, and the future of news. When Shepard stepped down from BusinessWeek in 2005, journalism was already being transformed by the Internet. At an age when most people retire, Shepard jumped back into the middle of it all. As founder and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, he is on the front lines of training the new generation of journalists.

Deadlines and Disruption is a treasure of insight from one of the most respected people in journalism. Anyone concerned with the state of news creation, delivery, and consumption today—and how it all plays out in society—cannot afford to miss this book.

About the Author

Stephen B. Shepard served as senior editor at Newsweek and as editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek from 1984 to 2005. He was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors from 1992 to 1994 and was inducted into its hall of fame in 1999. He is the dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which is on the cutting edge of journalism education in the digital age. He and his wife, Lynn Povich, live in New York.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Judgemental Journalism 30 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Author Stephen B Shepard has been involved with journalism all his life, starting as a reporter but rising to editor of `Business Week' and moving on to be founding dean of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, and he has received numerous accolades and awards. Publicity blurb suggests `Deadlines and Disruption' is a personal and insightful commentary on how journalism is advancing into the digital age of the internet, but reality is that the author avoids being judgemental and he remains somewhat detached. His commentary is fairly neutral, with `Deadlines and Disruption' being largely a memoir from when print was in its heyday and great store was placed on editorial value.

Shepard is very much an academic and he perhaps gives too much emphasis to his recent participation as dean of journalism. Obviously there are insights to how news is developed and disseminated, and there are accounts and explanations on electronic reporting, multimedia delivery, social networking etc. but with regard to any digital subjugation Shepard seems to hanker after some transfer of tradition rather than dealing with all out revolution, and he shifts to exploring business models and funding arrangements to ensure reporting remains valid. It is difficult to know what audience is being targeted by `Deadlines and Disruption'. Certainly it is informative and thought provoking but it is not ground breaking - apart from aficionados it is best regarded as average, and hence 3-star rating.
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By bookworm8 VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I thought this would be fascinating but was a bit disappointed - probably my expectations were out of line.
The biographical part - by far the largest section - was pleasant enough to read but in the second part I expected more precise factual detail about what has already happened to print journalism because of the internet, on which, presumably, Shepard's predictions are made.
If you are interested in print journalism's decline, there is not a great deal here to add to the general awareness that newspapers do not sell in the numbers that they did, and that many people get news digitally. As I get most of my news via the radio, I am not very interested so possibly this explains my lack of enthusiasm for the second section of the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Media Buzz 15 Mar 2014
By Arthur Dooley VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Author,Stephen B. Shepard served as senior editor at Newsweek and as editor-in-chief of Business Week from 1984 to 2005. In 'Deadlines and Disruptions' the author offers part autobiographical and part empirical analysis of the journalistic industry.
With his field being corporatism and big business,not surprisingly,he concentrates on the business journalism and looks at the ongoing revolution in the media. A process which may see the paper media disappear altogether in the future. As expected,the book is US-centric which might put off European readers but overall, it's a fairly interesting take on the new media world we live in.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Of A "Mish Mash" 17 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first third of the book is autobiographical. It has a self congratulatory, indulgent tone, and I found it less than riveting. It lacks a required intimacy or depth of self reflection for this to be of much interest to the reader. There seems to be a puzzling emphasis on unnecessary details, which could easily be omitted, and not enough about the "inner man".

However, the following section does liven up when it gives a good précis of how corporate America was behaving in the recession period of the 2000's, exploring issues such as the consequences of insider trading. There is a slightly patronising feel in his descriptions in "Going Global", relaying information and details that seem pretty obvious taking into account the target audience.

It is not until in the rather condensed feel of the final section that I got a sense that the book was addressing its topic, that of a profession in transit, from the perspective of traditionalists vs. the modernists. For the author, his conclusion is that an ongoing fusion of business technology and journalism is essential, a so-called "mutualisation of news". I found it confusing though, as the perspective seems always about how revenue for the organisation is to be acquired, not really about the advance of journalism and professional adaptation.

The author's passion for investigative reporting is very evident, and his fervour for maintaining vigorous journalistic standards shines through. However there is too much bias towards the autobiographical in the book, and the expected subject matter is crammed into the final section. The 2 star rating is because I had no real sense that the book was accurately addressing the expected subject matter, lacking focus and proper direction.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Personal Memoir of an editor going digital 28 Nov 2013
By Jack Chakotay VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a personal memoir of an editor during recent developments of printed media going into digital age. The process itself isn't really a focus, just his personal journey, along with the famous folks he has met being name checked along the way. If you put that aside, you can get a feel for the life of a journalist as well as a print editor. There are a number of interesting anecdotes as well as a presentation on the suthor's views on journalistic ethics and the Fourth estate in general.

Its pretty good for what it is, just don't think this will chart the history of print media into the digital age.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Confessions of a name-dropper
Shepard's book promises a look at the changing nature of journalism, but it's more of an autobiography with a few short think-pieces at the end. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Patrick Neylan
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read
Shepard's memoirs span 50 years concluding at a time when all Britain's national newspapers except the Financial Times are losing money and a similar situation exists in th USA and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as expected, but still an interesting read
I work for a magazine and have a business development background, so expected this to be a really intriguing read. Read more
Published 14 months ago by taylzo
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately interesting, but well-trodden ground
This memoir, by a prominent American journalist, highlights the big changes in journalism over the last half-century. Read more
Published 17 months ago by The Fisher Price King
3.0 out of 5 stars An academic insight into the business of journalism.
With a keen interest in journalism, I found this book to be quite an involved read - it's not one you can skim or dip in and out of. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Flickering Ember
3.0 out of 5 stars If you're fascinated by journalism you should read this.
Deadlines and Disruption is the story of Stephen B. Shepard's career and charts his rise from reporter through to editor-in-chief of Business Week. Read more
Published 17 months ago by JK
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected.
The title and more the cover illustration would have you think that this is primarily a book about how media owners face up to the challenges brought about by changing technology. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mr. Robert Kelly
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