Summary of The News

A User’s Manual

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The News book summary
The news succeeds at providing facts, but it fails at imparting knowledge.

Rating

9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

In his earlier books, London author Alain de Botton turned a fresh eye on architecture, religion and sex. Now he addresses the news. The information age releases an hourly torrent of headlines, but people are no more knowledgeable because of it. Examining six categories of news – political, international, economic, celebrity-focused, tragic and consumer-oriented – de Botton relates the headlines to bigger ideas: human frailty, mortality, and the search for security and happiness. Purveyors of news would do well to put the day’s events in the context of these age-old themes. The media landscape that de Botton calls “the news” is not as monolithic as he implies – but his provocative insights give editors and news consumers food for thought. getAbstract recommends this breezy manual to media executives looking to make the news more interesting and relevant, and to audiences who want to read and view news more critically.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why today’s torrent of news doesn’t inform its audience
  • How to apply a critical eye to news
  • What news organizations can learn from literature
 

Summary

News Is Everywhere
People repeatedly interrupt their day to check the news – expecting to learn something critical, important or entertaining. They take in plenty of facts, but little knowledge.

The German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel observed that when societies become modern...
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About the Author

Alain de Botton, a resident of London, is the author of best-selling nonfiction books including The Architecture of Happiness, The Art of Travel and How Proust Can Change Your Life.


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