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The Free Press [Copertina flessibile]

Hilaire Belloc

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gennaio 2010
In The Free Press, Hilaire Belloc offers an incisive analysis of the problems associated with modern news media ? what Belloc refers to as ?the capitalist press? or ?the official press.? He offers a powerful defence of the importance of alternative news media ? what Belloc refers to as ?the free press.? His critique of modern news media is just as relevant today as it was in his time, particularly the need for fundamental reforms in news media industry, if proper democracy is to be allowed to flourish. Belloc asserts that word of mouth is the natural and normal mode of transmitting the news and opinion necessary to sustain a modern democratic state. He then argues that the introduction of modern mass media has inevitably led to a twofold corruption in the democratic process.
--Questo testo si riferisce a un'edizione alternativa Copertina flessibile .

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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) 4.5 su 5 stelle  12 recensioni
22 di 23 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Prophetic 18 giugno 2009
Di bookscdsdvdsandcoolstuff - Pubblicato su
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato Amazon
Rarely have there been two authors as prophetic as G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc. That their books are still so relevant to so many today is testimony to their enduring greatness. Both these men are thoroughly Catholic authors, and it is this clear headed world view that leads directly to their timelessness.

The Free Press really and truly did shock me. I have known "traditional Catholics" who hate what I, as a Catholic loyal to Vatican II, stand for. Often they quote Belloc or other writers to back up their claims. They often attack ideas like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, etc. etc.

More often than not, when I go to the source materials, I see that the arguments they make rarely hold water. Here too, we see the same. Hillaire Belloc is a great defender of the notion of a free and independent press. He defends advocacy journalism because journals with a clear bias don't pretend to lack bias, so the reader can think about claims critically. He defends FREEDOM to write and think.

He is absolutely prophetic about the profit motive driving modern journalism and the lack of objectivity that causes. One wonders what he would have thought about the blogosphere! Given the content of this book I think he would have been supportive of much it stands for.

This was an amazing read. Heartily recommended.
10 di 11 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Reader and Viewer Beware! 25 ottobre 2004
Di Brad Shorr - Pubblicato su
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato Amazon
Belloc's prognosticative prowess goes full tilt in his 1918 essay on the press. Belloc sees the development of the press as a child of capitalism: by 1918 the establishment press in England is driven by profit instead of truth, and has incredible power to shape policy and control policy makers. Why? Newspapers sell for less than it costs to produce them. The difference is made up by advertising. Thus newspaper owners are beholden to advertisers and are not inclined to run stories counter to their interest. Newspapers can make or break politicians at will. They tend to suppress discussion of real political issues in favor of manufactured ones so they can spin news according to their own interests.

Sound familiar? Many people will find truth in these descriptions even today, with regard to the major news networks. Belloc sees a remedy: an independent free press. Belloc argues that by reading many different perspectives, extreme though they may be, one can distill the real truth of the matter. He observes this is exactly how we develop opinions outside of the mass media--by listening to a variety of people describe the event and assess their credibility, as in a criminal trial for instance. A free press did exist in 1918, but was in its infancy. Thanks to the Internet, we finally have the truly free press that Belloc predicted would flourish.

This tract might make you rethink the idea of digesting a steady diet of network news only. What you get is not necessarily what you see.
21 di 26 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle The mainstream media and the free media 24 dicembre 2002
Di Un cliente - Pubblicato su
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This is a quite interesting work from the authorship of Hilaire Belloc, which correctly sustains that mainstream media are not nor objective, neither faithful to the truth, but simple tools in the hands of their owners, informing according the conveniences and interests of such owners, professional journalists being no more than mere subjects that must fulfil the orders of their employers, if they desire to keep their jobs.
Without surprise the reader notices that the picture described by Belloc didn't change since 1918, the year the book was written, continuing to be actual about the current mainstream media. In fact, the present situation is even worse than in the time of Belloc, reference media being a mere repetition of each other. Despite the fact they present themselves with different editorial statutes, they always agree in the same essential matters - party system oligarchy, one-worldism, multiculturalism, free immigration and the consequent forced integration -, astonishingly remembering the media of a totalitarian society like the former Soviet Union.
How can we surpass this situation? In this point, Belloc's message is also actual: having recourse to independent or free media not dominated by plutocratic interests, in order to obtain a clearer vision about the events going on the world, complementing the information received from mainstream media or, even, giving that one such mainstream media have hidden. Despite some weaknesses that independent media also suffer, to those who turn to them, a complex whole of events will become perfectly understandable or, at least, much more clear, fighting in that way the occult censorship imposed on and by mainstream media (and, today, we have the internet, a tool unimaginable in the time of Belloc, that is the paradise of free media).
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle A Free Press vs. A Lying Establishment Press 16 aprile 2007
Di James E. Egolf - Pubblicato su
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato Amazon
Hilaire Belloc wrote a thoughtful book about countering the Establsihment Press(The Capitalist Press as he calls it) with a Free Press that was not subject to control by advertisers and Press Barons. Belloc wrote this book c 1917, but his remarks still apply. In fact, if anything, the Establishment Press is exponentially worse 90 years later when the appearance of this book.

Belloc begins this short study with comments on why advertisers pollute "news." Editors and journalists often write to please advertisers even though these same editors and journalists will not use that is advertised since many of the products they plug in their newspapers are harmful to health and safety. The reason why journalists and editors of the Establishment Press is that the advertisers subsidize the Establishment Press, and the editors lose their their self respect and ethical standards to keep the rich subsidies they get.

Belloc does not stop with advertisers. His comments re Press Barons are worth noting. Belloc accuses Press Barons and their cohorts of using newspapers to make or break political figures. Lying journalists can write sordid stories of political figures' personal lives whether or not they are true. The fact that Press Barons get their editors and journalists to lie is not important. As long as a scandal, whether true or not, is published, such a story can destroy a public figure. Press Barons can focus on a political nobody and make his career by favorable attention. Or these same news mogols can ignore a public figure and end his career.

Belloc also makes a case of Press Barons either suppressing knowledge of events or distorting such knowledge. The Establishment Press can fabricate stories and ignore important events. These problems should appear all too familiar to anyone who has sense.

Yet, Belloc offers solutions to these problems. Belloc offers the Free Press as an alternative. An honest Free Press faces hurdles such as lack of advertising subsidies, complete boycott by the Establishment Press, and legal challenges. Yet, Belloc argues that the Free Press can survive. Belloc's criticisms of the Free Press is specialization. Those who edit or write for the Free Press have so many smaller publications that they have a coordination problem. Smaller editors are too focused and often present solid reporting. However, their extreme conclusions often distort their work.

In spite of these criticisms, Belloc has hope. Belloc thinks that the Free Press has the advantage of propaganda which readers may want to offset the lying of the Establishment. Smaller Free Press editors may benefit at the exposure of truth when the Establishment is caught concealing the truth. Belloc also thinks that Press Barons and their poltical cronies may suffer the wrath of readers when they discover the abuse of power and irresponsible rule.

The obsticles that the Free Press may face are not enough to supress their work. Advertising boycotts, legal challanges, blackout from the Establishment, etc. are not enough to ruin the Free Press. Belloc argues that the Free Press will use men who have knowledge, who can write coherently/concisely, and whose work has permament appeal. An example is the Establishments' screaming headline which may get immediate attention. However, the distorted events and bad writing commenting on the headline make such journalism easily forgotten. On the other hand, the small Free Press avoids the screaming headline with solid writing based on knowledge, clear thinking, and good reading which are much more permanent in peoples' memory banks.

Finally, Belloc cites, among others, G.K. Chesterton as an editor of the Free Press. Very few if any can remember the journalistic hacks of the Establishment Press, but learned men and women know of G.K. Chesterton. Those men and women who write and have self respect will not sell their soul to the Establishment press.

This reviewer has one minor criticism. Belloc presents his case very well. However, he could have embellished this book with specific details. For example, he could have named some of the Press Barons and poltical figures whom he condemns. Doing so would have supported his thesis.

THE FREE PRESS is an important book. Many Westerners know their Press Barons lie or are too cowardly to publish the truth. One reviewer remarked that the interneat may be the modern Free Press which is why so many government fluknies want to investigagte it. The fact that so much knowledge can be read on the internet may be a sign that the Establishment Press will either have to change or be exposed for their lying. One can hope that Belloc that the Free Press can overcome the Establishment Press.
1 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Worthy Read 6 novembre 2009
Di KSim - Pubblicato su
Formato:Formato Kindle|Acquisto verificato Amazon
Great essay. Should be required reading in school to help unsuspecting generations understand that the main stream media has an agenda that is not based on delivering factual unbiased journalism. The fact that this essay was published over 100 years ago adds emphasis to how long this problem has existed and will serve as an example of how the media has shaped politics vs. the people that vote for the politicians.

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