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Overview:

A 168-page comic book about media that examines many aspects of visual communication. The Influencing Machine spent eight weeks on The New York Times Graphic Novel Bestseller List, was on Publishers Weekly Top 100 of the year, one of Library Journal's Ten Best Graphic Novels of the Year, and one of The Atlantic's Ten Masterpieces of Graphic Nonfiction.

Chapters:

Introduction:

Who is Brooke Gladstone and why is she writing this?

1 - In the Beginning:

This is a historical examination of media from ancient times through the 18th Century.

2 - The American Exception:

How the United States led the world in Freedom of the Press.

3 - Existential Angst:

In this chapter Gladstone explores the rocky relationship between the U.S. government and the press.

4 - Canis Journalisticus:

In this chapter Gladstone explores the rocky relationship between the press and the U.S. public.

5 - Birds on a Wire:

In this chapter Gladstone explores the press' courage, or lack thereof.

6 - News You Can't Use:

This chapter deals with common sources of inaccuracy in the media.

7 - The Great Refusal:

Gladstone identifies seven types of bias to watch out for when consuming media:

  1. Commercial Bias
  2. Bad News Bias
  3. Status Quo Bias
  4. Access Bias
  5. Visual Bias
  6. Narrative Bias
  7. Fairness Bias

8 - War

In this chapter Gladstone explores how war reporting in particular has historically suffered from six of the seven types of bias.

9 - Objectivity:

Gladstone looks at the rise and fall of objectivity as the primary aim of journalism.

9 - Disclosure:

How disclosure is supplanting objectivity in the digital age.

9 - The Matrix in Me:

Gladstone looks at how biases in the viewer of media affect how media is viewed.

9 - The Influencing Machines:

Gladstone looks at common criticisms that have been made at various forms of media.

9 - Um, Panic?:

Gladstone addresses information overload, disconnectedness, and other perils of the digital age.

9 - I, Robot:

What is the future of media?

9 - I, Media:

"How can we ensure that our development as moral and social animals keeps pace with our rapidly evolving communications technology?"

In Other Media

An animated short of the book's introduction was created to as a promotional video.

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Objects

none of this issue.

Story Arcs

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One of the Best Nonfiction Graphic Novels of All Time 0

In the New York Observer, Gladstone describes the book as "a treatise on the relationship between us and the news media". When it comes to non-fiction graphic novels, the field is dominated by personal memoirs; Art Spiegelman's Maus, and Harvey Pekar's American Splendor , and more recently Satrapi's Persepolis come immediately to mind. Indeed the very medium itself was birthed by the memoir - Will Eisner's A Contract with God was arguably the first true graphic novel.Once you look beyond biograp...

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