Books: Press Gangs

DECIDING WHAT'S NEWS by Herbert J. Cans Pantheon; 393 pages; $12.95

For more than a decade, Columbia University Sociologist Herbert J. Gans spent his spare hours watching journalists go about their jobs at CBS, NBC, TIME and Newsweek. The result, Deciding What's News, is too plodding to knock David Halberstam's gossipy competitor off the bestseller charts. But Gans does offer some shrewd observations about life on the other side of the headlines, and some provocative notions about how it should be changed.

Gans found his journalists to be predominantly upper middle class in origin...

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