"Branding the News" (February 2008 Encore)

Age of Persuasion

Season 2: News is big business. This week, Terry O'Reilly traces the origins of today's news packaging. Here's a headline you'll never, ever see in your daily paper: "Nothing Happened". Terry O'Reilly describes the ugly circle that drives modern newsgathering: how reporting takes money, how the need from money means attracting advertisers, how pleasing advertisers requires a vast audience, and how the need for a vast audience affects news content, and the way it's presented. He explores the cult of personality that drives TV newscasts, and traces the history of news gathering to a handful of distance runners in ancient Greece.

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