Introducing a new book on news and information literacy

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Cover image: Don't Be Fooled

As professional journalism recedes and anything goes on cable, talk radio and the Web, it’s becoming much more difficult to know what to trust.

This guide will equip you to become an information detective. With simple, easy-to-remember rules of thumb, you can build your own BS (Bald Sophistry) meter to spot unreliable information conveyed by any source through any medium from face-to-face to FaceBook, Fox to NPR, and Daily Kos to Drudge.

Learning to filter the digital deluge has become a necessary life skill because the value of reliable information — particularly news — has never been greater. News describes change, and technology is accelerating waves of change through every part of society — politics, transportation, manufacturing, retail, privacy and personal health, even liberty, from how we learn to how much we earn.

What hasn’t changed, however, is the power conveyed by knowledge and the danger to self and society caused by ignorance and misinformation. Don’t be fooled.

Don’t Be Fooled is now available in paper or pixels (Kindle) from Amazon. You may go to the purchase page by clicking on the title in the previous sentence. The paperback book is $14.95 USD. The Nook and Kindle version costs $9.95.

You can use Amazon’s “Look Inside the Book” feature to explore the contents by clicking here. The Nook version can be purchased by clicking here.

Here are some early reviews for Don’t Be Fooled:

Michael J. Copps, former FCC commisioner: “This Guide says a lot in relatively few pages.  Every citizen concerned about the future of this country should read it in order to understand how so much of journalism is now failing us and to discern how to better understand what’s actually happening from our local communities to the global arena.”


Robert W. McChesney, author of The Death and Life of American Journalism: “A tour de force for anyone trying to sift through the muck and understand the news today. John McManus has taken his decades of experience as an outstanding journalist and scholar and produced one of the most accessible and useful books in years. I strongly recommend it.”

Judy Muller, former ABC News Correspondent and NPR commentator, and professor of journalism, University of Southern California, Annenberg School: “Quite simply – the best roadmap I’ve seen for navigating the twists and turns in the ever-evolving media landscape. As a journalist and an educator, I am immensely grateful to John McManus for this book, which comes at a time when the digital revolution is spawning an unprecedented flood of information and disinformation every day. McManus helps us ferret out the bull and the bias, including our own.


Craig Newmark, founder of These days, all sorts of misinformation is reported as fact. Since very little fact-checking is done these days, citizens have to figure out how to sort out fact from deception. Don’t Be Fooled helps get the job done, providing real ways anyone can subject what they hear to a simple SMELL test.”






jhmcmanus @ August 14, 2012