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  1. It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News by Drew Curtis
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Why We Don't Suck.

It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News by Drew Curtis

People Who Deserve It. Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain! How to Be Funny. I Rant, Therefore I Am. Break the News to Me Gently. And Then There's This. Broadcast Journalism Pocket Checklist: A daily guide for reporters, anchors and producers. A Life in Parts. Editors of Readers Digest. The Book of Percentages. I Have An Opinion. Memoir of an Independent Woman. Why I Hate Straws. The Kingdom and the Power. World According to Twitter.

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You Are a Loser. Right Between the Eyes. Key Concepts in Creative Industries. His insights aren't anything that someone who regularly reads the mainstream news hasn't already realized, but his wit, immense memory for inane news stories, and Fark comments keep it feeling fresh. I kept thinking, okay, he's setting the stage and then he's going to get to the point. Curtis has no clue. He doesn't even attempt to offer alternatives.

He concludes that people don't actually want to read real news; they want the crap. Certainly he has an interest in maintaining the status quo--Fark exists because of all the crap. For a book about how terrible news organizations are for not fact checking, reporting on rumors, cutting and pasting, and not doing any in-depth research, he sure sets a terrible example of how to do better. The book reads more like a blog than anything else. Maybe that's how he intended it, but it grated on me that Curtis would not at least attempt to gain some of the credibility he accuses mass media of lacking due to laziness.

All in all, this book falls prey to the exact same affliction. Feb 01, Fen rated it really liked it. I'm a bit of a fan of Fark. As such, the book is likely to become a bit dated before long It was published in and, for example, has many references to a now deceased celebrity and multiple references to a politician who was at one time believed to be involved i I'm a bit of a fan of Fark. It was published in and, for example, has many references to a now deceased celebrity and multiple references to a politician who was at one time believed to be involved in the death of an intern and has since been completely exonerated they found the actual killer last year.

Kind of awkward although, also sort of to the point of the book. The book goes through the various problems in stories run by Mass Media, giving multiple examples of each type of issue e. This is another one of those books that I initially loved, but over time, my feelings have softened up toward it. Most of the non-news can go in one of several categories all of which get their own chapter with several exa This is another one of those books that I initially loved, but over time, my feelings have softened up toward it.

Most of the non-news can go in one of several categories all of which get their own chapter with several examples proving the point. My one big nitpick is the inclusion of Fark comments at the end of each example article. Overall, decent read, would recommend for newshounds. Jul 25, Martin added it. Curtis, as a result of his proprietorship of Fark. This book provided a valuable service for me. It happens often that a certain detail of humanity drives me nuts, and I read a book that explains the phenomenon in detail and puts me at ease. The first time this happened was when vehicular traffic and the fact that three buses show up at my stop at the same time.

I read a book called "Why Buses Come in Threes" and laid these matters to rest for me. I then found myself railing against non-news items and am fully assuaged with the reading of this book. Now irrational human behavior still drives me nuts, so I'll be reading Dan Ariely's "Predictably Irrational" in the hopes of laying that to rest as well.

Anyway, I had slacked off my Fark. Jul 10, Ryan rated it liked it. As someone who enjoys Fark. This book certainly does that, and was good for a few laughs over a plane ride and some odd looks from fellow passengers. The problem, I think, is that it's written in the same style that I would use to write a book, and I'm not a very good writer.

Drew tosses in a few "So it goes," which for some reason irks me more in print than it would on As someone who enjoys Fark.

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Drew tosses in a few "So it goes," which for some reason irks me more in print than it would on the internet and has some minor quirks in style that one might find odd if one ever wasn't reading Fark for more than thirty seconds at a time. It's hilarious in some parts, seems copy-and-pasted in others, and the use of farker comments varies between adding to the humor and appearing to be the source for the media analysis in the chapter in which they appear.

I'd recommend giving it a read, but know that you're getting what you could probably get from simply hanging out in some Fark threads for a little while. This book is both funny and depressing. It might have gotten worse. OR Rain, see that drop! Yeah, you get the idea. The book details the different ways the media does this, and points out that in some cases, we enable the media.

It will make you laugh, cry, and want to hunt down any cable news network besides Al Jazeeza.


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May 28, Steve rated it really liked it. I'm a big fan of fark. Much like the Daily Show and Colbert Report, I feel like I'm getting a more trustworthy version of the news from the semi-comedic sources than the actual news. What's nice about this book, is it helps explain why that is the case. Drew has been using his position as the owner of fark to analyze the media over the past decade, and the book presents an extremely clear and fairly thorough critique of all that is wrong with the media. It ran I'm a big fan of fark. It ranges from things that are obvious to probably pretty much everyone celebrity obsession, for example to some more subtle media patterns.

Not merely an inventory of media problems though, the book also explains how or why the problems exist, and in many cases, barriers that exist preventing the problems from being fixed. The nice thing is, since it's Drew from Fark, he's doing this fairly serious analysis in a very casual, easy to read, and humorous way.

Dec 12, Julianne rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Did it in one evening. Drew Curtis is no award-winning author he's engaging, but not the best I've ever read , but his ideas are compelling and his website www. I've been saying these things for years. They listed all the shocking things the hospital was doing to prevent further spread. It was the epitomy of "non-news" The difference between my story and Fark's--hilarity.

I would suggest not reading this in a public place unless you don't mind leaking gafaws and having people think you're crazy. His reuse of "Duke sucks", boobies, and Florida cracks can get tedious, but oh well. Nov 05, Melissa rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: As a student of journalism, I added this book to my list for purely educational reasons.

This book was educational, witty and funny. It really is funny how much of our daily "news" is actually crap that is just constantly recycled. I actually have a lot of fun now watching the news in the morning and going on CNN at work and counting the crap that is actually mentioned in Curtis's book. Some parts did read very textbook-y to me, as surprisingly, most journalism textbooks I read in college are no As a student of journalism, I added this book to my list for purely educational reasons. Some parts did read very textbook-y to me, as surprisingly, most journalism textbooks I read in college are not well written.

I say, if you're tired of the mass media, give this book a read -- it will give you many more reasons to make fun of lazy journalists, who couldn't write an original story to save their lives.

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Jun 08, Eric Rasmussen rated it it was ok. Fark is my number one website distraction, and the Fark book is the paper version of the screen experience. Unfortunately, I was hoping for a little more. The book, like the website, is funny, pleasant, and occasionally dabbles in some level of intelligent analysis of or commentary on the news.

This book could have been so much more, though. Had it included some expert opinion, the slightest bit of research, or connection to other work done on the state of the modern media, this could have been Fark is my number one website distraction, and the Fark book is the paper version of the screen experience. Had it included some expert opinion, the slightest bit of research, or connection to other work done on the state of the modern media, this could have been quite a bit more significant.


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  5. Instead, this book is simply the author's observations of undesirable trends in the media without much backing. Enjoyable, but a little too much like the website - I just need more out of my books. Apr 26, Wayne rated it liked it. This is a bathroom book. It isn't a book I read from front to back. I pick it up, read a little and put it down. Eventually all the stories will become old and I'll lay it down for a few years, and read anew.

    In other word I'm sure this will be on my current list for most of this year. The premise of this book, for those who have not visited the site, is the author has reviewed enough news stories to see a pattern in their stories. When there is no new news, or a need to take a break from an on g This is a bathroom book. When there is no new news, or a need to take a break from an on going new story, they use filler news.

    These story run from the inane, to corp pandering. For instance story reminding us Californians the San Andreas fault still runs through L. Sep 14, Megan rated it it was ok Recommended to Megan by: New England Mobile Book Fair shelf. I picked this book up because I wanted an inside perspective about what stories "make news" when there is no news worth reporting.

    It was good to read about how certain stories gain horrific proportions in the effort to win viewers, and see the patterns for myself. For example the "bacteria" story. Other questions it raised. Why are power outages in New York so much more interesting than another other locale in the I picked this book up because I wanted an inside perspective about what stories "make news" when there is no news worth reporting.

    Why are power outages in New York so much more interesting than another other locale in the U.

    It's Not News, It's Fark How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News

    Why do Shark Attacks make such prominent news but alligator attacks don't rank? Why do media viewers care about missing white girls, but not other races? Unfortunately, the delivery of information in this book is crass, vulgar, and quite distasteful. Jun 24, Kristen Northrup rated it really liked it Shelves: I've heard of Fark but never visited it. This was loaned to us because my boyfriend works in local news.

    He hasn't had a chance to read it yet but I really enjoyed it. The "most news is crap" message wasn't exactly surprising or controversial, but it was interesting to see it divided into clear recurring themes. And his analysis and suggestions at the end about how to stay viable made a lot of sense. Most of the funniest bits were in the comments. Which I thus felt a little guilty about laughing I've heard of Fark but never visited it.

    Which I thus felt a little guilty about laughing at because mouthbreathing comment sections are a major reason I don't get much news online. But there are some gems here. Apr 05, Ryan I rated it liked it. You could probably call it 'The Daily Show' for newspapers. And Curtis throws his two cents in at the end, brin You could probably call it 'The Daily Show' for newspapers. Tracking traffic via Google Analytics shows that when Fark's traffic is ranked by visits from people at the same corporation tracked via IP blocks and using fairy dust and gnomes or some such black magic , Fark receives the most traffic from someplace called Turner.

    This is traffic coming to Fark from individuals using their own computers at work, not referral traffic. Incidentally, and we can't explain why, there's one IP address coming to Fark on a regular basis from an Internet address assigned to The Vatican. A drop-dead hysterically funny look at the go-to stories mass media uses when there's not enough hard news to fill a newspaper or a news broadcast. It's not media's fault per se, the main problem is that ads have been sold. You can't sell a blank newspaper full of ads, broadcast white noise bracketed by commercials, or expect people to visit a website full of ads with no content.

    Drew's article in Christian Science Monitor. Sep 19 If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page. Sign up for the Fark NotNewsletter! Follow Fark On Twitter. Headlines of the Week Fark NotNewsletter. Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.