Fighting for Air

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What to expect

This groundbreaking investigative work by a critically acclaimed sociologist exposes the corporate takeover of local news and what it means for all Americans.

Early in the morning of January 18, 2002, a train derailment near Minot, North Dakota, sent a cloud of poisonous gas drifting toward the small town. Minot’s fire and rescue departments were unable to get word out by radio because Clear Channel, which is canned programming, operated all six radio stations—resulting in one death and more than a thousand injuries.

Eric Klinenberg’s Fighting for Air takes us into the world of preprogrammed radio shows, empty television news stations, and copycat newspapers to show how corporate ownership and control of local media undermines American political and cultural life.

Critics Review

  • “Using straightforward reporting, a clear writing style and a healthy dose of facts-on-the-ground, Klinenberg…assembles a telling portrait of the sorry state of this nation’s newspapers, TV channels and radio stations.”

    Rocky Mountain News
  • “Eric Klinenberg has given us a chilling report on how the American news media, increasingly concentrated, have made a mockery of the commitment to operate ‘in the public interest, convenience, and necessity.’” 

    Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst for NPR
  • Fighting for Air is a richly detailed, compelling, and timely investigation into the problem of the U.S. media and what people are doing to take it back…This book is a call to action to fight for a strong, vigorous, independent media.”

    Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of "Democracy Now!"
  • “[This] impassioned call to restore local journalism and its role in creating informed, engaged communities is sure to strike a chord with readers.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “Drawing on interviews, independent observations, and Federal Communications Commission proceedings, Klinenberg convincingly argues that media consolidation is limiting choices and opinions in America.”

    Library Journal
  • “There is much irony and anger in this important exposé and Tom Weiner, in a deep, resonant voice, expresses those sentiments well.” 

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

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