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Summary: Recommended reading for any aspiring broadcaster
Review: Direct, honest, and brilliantly written, Ellerbee's masterwork gives the reader an inside look into the world of broadcast journalism. Her 80's program NBC News Overnight was a unique vehicle for intelligent reporting and videography. It was the last show of its kind on network news TV which, if anything, has gotten worse since the writing of this book. When Ellerbee's Nickelodeon children's programs are more intelligently written than most of the so called "adult" news programs on TV, that's scary. It is unfortunately the case.
Summary: Wise and witty
Review: I've probably read this book a dozen times from cover to dog-eared cover; my paperback copy is literally falling apart! I still open it sometimes just to read a couple of pages from the middle, and I'm always entertained by Ellerbee's wit.
Wit: a combination of rational intelligence and humour. Ellerbee displays both in abundance, and her writing style is pitch-perfect. She's worked in network news long enough to have seen all of it's strength and weaknesses, and long enough to have lived through one-too-many comical misadventures. Some of her anectodal experiences are downright hilarious:
Stealing Reagan's golf cart for a joyride. Spying on a button manufacturer from a rooftop across the street (to learn before the competing networks who'll be chosen vice president for a presidential campaign). Getting unintentionally stuck in the middle of a homecoming parade for the Iran hostages. Using dinner trays to "surf" down the aisle of a flying airplane. A rubber duck on the set. A "thing and a thing." And so it goes...
There are also some suprising revelations, such as Ellerbee's confession to a back-alley abortion, and her discovery that Ohio didn't become a state until 1954!
Read this book and be entertained... and simoultaneously enlightened about the field of broadcast journalism.
Summary: Should be required reading
Review: There are some books that should never be resigned to the dustbin and this is one of them. The message is timeless and, despite the humor, frightening. Ms. Ellerbee's wisdom is needed more today than it was back in 1988.
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