Don't Mess with the Press

How to Write, Produce and Report
               Quality Television News

by Tony Seton

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Excerpts from reviews of the book proposal by journalism teachers

1) I think you have an excellent book proposal. It is refreshing to see a book that is written by a seasoned practitioner. The material on the organization of the newsroom took me back to my early days in TV news and the section on interviewing was well crafted.

When I was in grad school at Syracuse I took a course called Television News that met once a week for six hours. At the end of the six hour period we produced a 30-minute video newscast in our studio. Obviously there was pre-work, especially producing film stories that could be aired during the broadcast. I think Don't Mess with the Press would be perfect as the sole text for a course like this. It provides a great understanding of both the philosophical underpinning of news as well as the nuts and bolts of producing a newscast.

I also think that this would be a wonderful book for young people entering the field of broadcast journalism. Many of them learn "on the fly" in smaller markets and this book seems chock full of great material.

Another audience for Don't Mess With the Press would be the "suits" who run TV stations and networks. These are the bozos that are feeding us a diet of fluff, features and bubbleheads, all under the banner of "News You Can Use." Perhaps after the book is published you can pass out desk copies at the NAB yearly convention. It may enlighten some of the executives as to the purpose of a news department.

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2) I would consider using this textbook for the Broadcast Newswriting Course. It is an undergraduate course, one semester in length, with about 21 students per class and two classes per semester. I am the Director of Broadcast Journalism and I supervise this course.

I like the way this textbook is divided in various subject areas. I think this textbook takes a realistic look at the news industry, and it's written in a clear, concise manner. Yes, this approach is compatible with the way we teach the course.

I think the Assignment Desk chapter is very interesting. We need that kind of information in a textbook. It's realistic. I think the chapter on news judgment is wise because that's a core element of the business, and it should be addressed as a separate issue. I think the writing style would be readable and engaging for students.

I like the writing style. I like the energy and the pacing of the textbook.

Yes, I would consider adopting this book. I would consider it for required reading.


Questions? Contact Tony Seton


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