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Hardcover Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else Book

ISBN: 1568986890

ISBN13: 9781568986890

Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else

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Book Overview

The reporter who filed the last dispatch before falling with Custer at his "last stand" against the Sioux.The Honolulu bureau chief who looked up from his breakfast table to see Japanese planes flying low andcalled San Francisco, managing to dictate a single paragraph before all communications to the mainlandwere cut. The Saigon bureau chief who served Coca-Cola and pound cake to three North Vietnamesesoldiers before writing the bulletin announcing...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

An Informative, Entertaining, Reminder of Moments in History

"Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else," by Reporters of the Associated Press, Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2007. This is a very nicely done coffee table book telling mostly how news has been reported by the Associated Press over its history since about 1850. The book includes many first rate, quality photographs, often famous ones related to major stories. It also includes photo reproductions of telegrams and teletypes reporting famous news stories such as Lincoln's assassination, and even 9/11. A section includes a glossary of wire service terms. We learn that AP's main national newswire is known as the A-wire, which is controlled from New York City. There is also an F-wire, which carries financial news, presumably in competition with the Dow Jones Broad Ticker and the Bloomberg News Service. There is also a Sports Wire, which carries sports news, and one suspects there are numerous regional wires, and probably international wires covering the news at various levels. We learn that for many years Reuters stories have been distributed in the US by the AP and Associated Press stories have been distributed in Europe by Reuters. The famous lead or "lede" is the first paragraph of the story intended to grab the reader's attention. A newsflash is a news alert of immediate importance. Though rarely sent by AP two were sent within two hours on 9/11. Five bells is the signal from the teletype alerting of incoming news usually a flash or bulletin. A bulletin is a major breaking news story; an urgent heading indicates an important story not quite of bulletin caliber. Section titles gives some idea of the content. They are War I, Trials, Freedom of Information, Aviation, Sports, Elections, Civil Rights, War I I, Foreign Correspondents, Photographs, Disasters, and the White House. The news business includes its share of blunders. Several famous ones are described. Shortly after the Union victory at Gettysburg, a spoof message was sent to New York papers announcing that Grant was giving up his Wilderness Campaign and Lincoln had declared "a national day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer." Most papers immediately recognized the story as false, but two published it. At the end of World War I, United Press, a competitor, announced that the armistice had been signed on November 7 - 4 days before the event actually occurred. At the Lindbergh kidnapping trial in Flemington NJ, on September 20, 1934, AP had developed an elaborate code to signal the terms of the jury verdict before competitors could leave the courtroom. Confusion resulted in a misunderstood code and a false flash, announcing a verdict had been reached "guilty and life" rather than "guilty with the death sentence." As a result, AP fired one man, suspended another, and demoted a third. To get ready for deadline, news stories are often written ahead with the name of the winner inserted at the last minute. In AP lingo, "

More of a text book than a coffee-table book

Very interesting, especially for those journalism junkies. However, it reads more like a text book than a casual read or coffee-table book. Photos are fabulous, though.

A book worth reading

This book is an important reminder of the tireless and many times anonymous job AP reporters do on a daily basis. The book is filled with rich details about the wire service. It's really a history of American journalism.
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