Thomas E. Patterson: "Informing The News: The Need For Knowledge-Based Journalism"

Thomas E. Patterson: "Informing The News: The Need For Knowledge-Based Journalism"

Americans have access to more news sources than ever, but that doesn't mean we are better informed. A Harvard media expert on how journalists could do a better job educating the public.

Americans have access to more information than at any time in history. Yet surveys show widespread misunderstanding among the public on critical issues of the day. One example among many: at a point in the health care reform debate, about half of Americans falsely believed the bill included "death panels" to prematurely end the lives of seniors. In a new book, a Harvard professor looks at why Americans are so misinformed. He puts a good deal of blame on the media. With Fox News saying one thing and MS-NBC saying the opposite, it's little wonder Americans are confused. Diane talks with Thomas E. Patterson on how journalists can better serve the public.


Thomas Patterson

Bradlee professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government; author of "The Vanishing Voter" and "Out of Order."

Excerpted from "Informing the News" by Thomas E. Patterson. Copyright © 2013 by Thomas E. Patterson. Excerpted by permission of Vintage, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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