Monday, June 13, 2011

NPR's Brooke Gladstone tonight in Decatur

Tonight at the Decatur Library, Brooke Gladstone talks about her new book The Influencing Machine, illustrated by artist Josh Neufeld in a comic-strip-style narrative, about the state of contemporary media. It's a funny, savvy and ultimately sobering examination of how the functions of journalism and Americans' constitutionally-guaranteed right to know have subtly been turned into a behemoth of corporate control.

Gladstone, the host of National Public Radio's On the Media, is opinionated about the way we ourselves have let the media construct our view of the world -- even more now, when all of us have access to an endless stream of information, when we use the internet to shape news in a way that reinforces our own ideas.

Ultimately optimistic, if a bit scattered, The Influencing Machine is an entertaining primer on the history of American mass media and its promising road into the 21st century -- once we learn that journalism has been a tool, and just often used as a weapon, throughout American history. At this point, with new technologies opening ever broader possibilities, it's still up to the user to decide how "mass media" will serve the individual best.

The event begins at 7:15 p.m. For more information on tonight's appearance contact the Georgia Center for the Book.

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