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A Top Editor’s Take on the State of Journalism Today—and His Prescient Forecast of Its Future

“This is a personal and insightful book about one of the most important questions of our time: how will journalism make the transition to the digital age? Steve Shepard made that leap bravely when he went from being a great magazine editor to the first dean of the City University of New York journalism school. His tale is filled with great lessons for us all.”
—Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Steve Jobs

“An insightful and convivial account of a bright, bountiful life dedicated to words, information and wonder.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“My personal passage is, in many ways, a microcosm of the larger struggle within the journalism profession to come to terms with the digital reckoning. Will the new technologies enhance journalism . . . or water it down for audiences with diminished attention spans? What new business models will emerge to sustain quality journalism?”

Stephen B. Shepard has seen it all. Editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek for more than 20 years, Shepard helped transform the magazine into one of the most respected voices of its time. But after his departure, he saw it collapse—another victim of the digital age.

In Deadlines and Disruption, Shepard recounts his five decades in journalism—a time of radical transformations in the way news is developed, delivered, and consumed. Raised in the Bronx, Shepard graduated from City College and Columbia, joined BusinessWeek as a reporter, and rose to the top editorial post. He has closed the circle by returning to the university that spawned him, founding the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.

In the digital age, anyone can be a journalist. Opinion pieces are replacing original reporting as the coin of the realm. And an entire generation is relying on Facebook friends and Twitter feeds to tell them what to read.

Is this the beginning of an irreversible slide into third-rate journalism? Or the start of a better world of interactive, multimedia journalism? Will the news industry live up to its responsibility to forge a well-informed public?

Shepard tackles all the tough questions facing journalists, the news industry, and, indeed, anyone who understands the importance of a well-informed public in a healthy democracy.

The story of Shepard’s career is the story of the news industry—and in Deadlines and Disruption, he provides peerless insight into one of the most critical issues of our time.

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