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Pic of The Gray Area with Sean Illing

A veteran reporter on how to fix the news

December 5, 2022

The Gray Area with Sean Illing


Sean Illing talks with James Fallows, veteran reporter and editor at The Atlantic, about the state of political journalism in America. Fallows has been covering the relationship between media and democracy since the mid-nineties, when his book Breaking the News presciently documented the roots of a growing mistrust in news media. Sean and James talk about the dangers facing the political press today, why national political news is not useful to most Americans, and what can be done to regain the people's trust in journalism. Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), host, The Gray Area Guest: James Fallows (@JamesFallows), author of the newsletter, Breaking the News: Dispatches from a Veteran Reporter on Substack References:  Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy by James Fallows (Vintage; 1996) Ashley Parker's tweet (Nov. 22) "Exclusive: Naomi Biden On Her White House Wedding" by Chloe Malle (Vogue; Nov. 22) Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America by James Fallows and Deborah Fallows (Vintage; 2018) Our Towns (HBO; 2021) Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers "Leslie Moonves on Donald Trump: 'It May Not Be Good for America, but It's Damn Good for CBS'" by Paul Bond (Hollywood Reporter; Feb. 29, 2016) Public Opinion by Walter Lippmann (1922) "Correcting the Record; Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception" by Dan Barry et al. (New York Times; May 11, 2003) "Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction?" by Daniel Okrent (New York Times; May 30, 2004) "3 Truths About Trump" by James Fallows (The Atlantic; July 13, 2015) The Paradox of Democracy by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing (U. Chicago; 2022)   Enjoyed this episode? Rate The Gray Area ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next episode of The Gray Area. Subscribe in your favorite podcast app. Support The Gray Area by making a financial contribution to Vox! This episode was made by:  Producer: Erikk Geannikis Editor: Amy Drozdowska Engineer: Patrick Boyd Senior Producer: Katelyn Bogucki Editorial Director, Vox Talk: A.M. Hall Learn more about your ad choices. Visit