In this nonfiction confessional, author Ryan Holiday explains exactly what a "media manipulator" is and how the work is accomplished. He should know; he's been one for years.
Everyone from the most trusted names in news down to the most traffic-hungry blogs with zero editorial standards are looking for the next big scoop and/or (more importantly) page views with which to charge advertisers for ads. Manipulators like Holiday take advantage of these money-based desires to affect what gets covered and in what light. Basically, if you can get a little blog to pick something up (by any means necessary, including and especially fake "tips," "leaks," and user submissions), a larger blog can pick up that it's been reported and it goes up the chain from there. Viral newsgathering.
Using tactics described in detail in this book, manipulators can further or damage causes, spread outright lies and deceit, build or ruin reputations, and take credit for things that are impossible.
After finishing this book, readers will be more skeptical than ever when viewing online news. It's a bit depressing, actually. I'd rather know than not, though, right? I'd recommend the book.
A NOTE ON THE NARRATOR: This book would have been much better if the author had not performed it himself. Despite this, you get used to it after a while, and the subject matter is interesting enough to overcome any annoyance with the substandard performance.
It has so much actionable stuff, it's just ridiculous.
The whole time I was walking my dog and listening to this, one hour at a time, I kept getting dozens of ideas about how I could potentially apply this to my business.
The first thing that comes to my mind is a story on graffiti, buy the book and you'll definitely recognize it ;)
The one described above.
All The Reasons You Need Not To Trust The Media
Ryan Holiday is a BOSS.
This audiobook suffers from Holiday's terribly inexpert reading. His is not a professional voice.
However, the strength of the message carries through. Once Ryan explains the cynical way in which information is manipulated on the internet you will never look at another sensational story the same way again.
This is an important work for our age. Read it...or remain vulnerable.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
If you ever wondered how the media gets its news, and how easily someone with the resources can manipulate them, this is the book for you.
I admit, I suspected that there was someone out there manipulating things, changing perceptions. What I hadn't realized was that that someone had a name, and that it occurs so pervasively. What little trust I had in media has been jaded, and any blind trust I had in the internet is gone for good. This book is a real eye-opener to the truths behind the curtain, so to speak. I'll definitely be looking at the news I get with a different eye: who benefits, how, and how did this story make it to the front page in the first place? I emerge from the book a cannier, hopefully wiser, and definitely changed reader.
At first I wanted to skip this book because I thought it has no big news for me. I was wrong.
As an RSS addict, I didn't realize how biased the whole blogsphere is.
This book has totally ruined the Internet for me.
At this point I can not trust a single word I read online. Everything looks suspicious, everything you read might be manipulated by some smart PR guy.
A "must read" book for anyone who spends more than 2 hours a day online.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Probably not because the central theme of Don't Trust Anything the media tells you is clear enough the first time.
Confessions of an Ecomonic Hitman
He is telling his story with all the emotional inflections added to his words that would never transfer via print.
I was saddened to have many suspicions validated.
A worth while read...perhaps a little over the top here and there but if it peaks your skepticism and makes you question the media it has served its purpose.
I wanted a more "Catch Me If You Can" type adventure and this was more of a very thorough education of a niche media and it's broader reach. While I was overwhelmed with how much information and homework Ryan did I was bored with it after a few chapters. It was very repetitive basically saying the same things over and over just with a different twist. This book though should be essential reading for any journalism student. As an average Joe though this book barely kept my attention.
Seemed a bit contrived. I have no doubts that this guy is still working in the same ways as he always has.
His audio was well done and he delivered the book well. Good move on his part to record it himself.
I think Ryan could indeed write more journalistic history books sure but this particular book doesn't need a follow up. In fact it was already twice as long as it needed to be.
If you're a journalist or journalism student I would recommend this book highly. If you're looking for anything else I would pass.
The stories were interesting, though largely, unsurprising. The worst, however, was the narration. I'm sorry. The audio wasn't totally horrible, but some authors should NOT narrate their own audio versions. I wasn't all that impressed with the book, but if friends really did want to read it, I'd at least steer them away from the audio version unless it was the only option.
Honestly, the book would be worth borrowing from the library. Some of the stories are interesting, but not really worth the retail price tag. I can't recommend the audio version. It's just one of those books that would have been much better served by a professional narrator. ...even then, I'm not sure it would be credit-worthy.
This book is a must read for anyone with a brain. If you spend your time consuming media and getting all bent out of shape about it... consider what you'd think if you found you were just a pawn in someone's click through scheme.