Book Review


I received a gifted copy of NEWSROOM CONFIDENTIAL: LESSONS (AND WORRIES) FROM AN INK-STAINED LIFE by Margaret Sullivan from St. Martin’s Press.

Rating: 4 / 5

NEWSROOM CONFIDENTIAL is the author’s in depth look at the modern state of the news media. Having risen through the ranks from an intern to the editor to her position as a critic of American journalism itself, Margaret Sullivan has a lot of insights into what works and what doesn’t work about journalism and how that has changed over the years. When she became the first woman made public editor of The New York Times, she took her role to oversee the writer’s work on behalf of the readers very seriously. From issues on relying overly much on unnamed sources to using news focus to sway political opinions, there have been many trends in news reporting to uncover.

This book was a fascinating look at the newsroom behind the scenes. We’ve all heard the increased use of things like “fake news” and seen the media be directly attacked for reporting news that some do not like. This book gives a different perspective from a woman who has had to weigh ethical issues in the news venue and has had to call out reporters for things that have been problematic. She’s also been in a place to see where news has been called out even though it has been reported accurately and fairly. She even addresses issues where the public has stepped into the role of reporter in the modern day when everyone has a camera and social platforms to put out news, such as in the case of George Floyd where it was an individual’s camera footage that became important national news.

I was reading this one in the week leading up to the elections and it felt very timely. There is a lot about politics in here as we have seen newspapers and reporters come under fire for unfair, biased reporting (both justly and unjustly at times). The author went to the Washington Post in 2016 which gave her front row access to the rise of Donald Trump’s politics and personal views on the media.

This was an interesting book and one I would recommend. It also fit well for the #NonfictionBookParty photo prompt from @theocbookgirl for a book on words and writing.



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