Research Report on James Fallows
With the ample amounts of information that is provided to consumers with a few clicks of a mouse, it is hard to decipher what is a reliable source and what is not. Now days, any average Joe could write a blog post without any factual basis and some could consider it a source. As a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, a publication that focuses on national and international news, James Fallows has created a credible name for himself. Both Fallows and The Atlantic are sources that can be trusted.
Looking first at his education, Fallows received degrees in American history and literature from Harvard. Fallows continued his education at Oxford, obtaining his graduate degree in economics. Fallows worked on democratic President Jimmy Carter’s staff, as chief speechwriter for two years (The Atlantic). Fallows current publication, The Atlantic, has independently made a name for itself to the American public. Publication began is 1857 and The Atlantic has continued to grow and change with the times. Historically, it has been known to report everything that was in the public’s interest, from Martin Luther King’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” to coverage of all World Wars (Murphy). Fallows primary news focus, recently, has been on the war in Iraq but stays involved in all aspects of American government. He has been awarded the National Magazine Award once but has been nominated five times (The Huffington Post). These prestigious awards show his work has been reviewed and seen as continually scholarly, on multiple different subjects.
Although James Fallows has the credentials of a trustable source, I think we need to look at where his personal biases could influence his reporting. Fallows did work for a democratic president for two years, which leads me to believe he has some affiliation with that political party. Murdoch’s News Corp reports focused primarily on conservative debates and discussion. In ‘The Age of Murdoch’ Fallows does an excellent job portraying that this is not just a political disagreement, but an argument about what is best for the public and a business deal for Murdoch. Fallows shows that he has respect for both sides of the argument and takes the time to get insight from both. While reading this article he quotes multiple people, some who have worked for Murdoch, others against (Fallows). In this instance, Fallows comes off very bipartisan and concluded that those on the inside of Murdoch’s corporation do not see how politically important this debate is and that those against Murdoch are blowing his ideals way out of proportion (Fallows). Fallows’ educational background and previous experience has given him an ample amount of knowledge on the American court system and the political aspects behind ownership in the media (The Atlantic). He is trying to inform the public of the struggle between media ownership and political power. Looking online, I did not find any formal responses back to this article or Fallows ideas. As a reader, we can confidently take his claims into account and build off his ideas because he has done his research to get all pieces of the puzzle together and leaves the reader to make their own claims in the end.
Fallows, James. "The Age of Murdoch." The Atlantic. Sept. 2003. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/09/the-age-of-murdoch/2777/>.
"James Fallows." The Atlantic. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/james-fallows/>.
"James Fallows." The Huffington Post. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-fallows>.
Murphy, Cullen. "The Atlantic Online | A History of The Atlantic Monthly." The Atlantic Online | A History of The Atlantic Monthly. 1994. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/about/atlhistf.htm>.