“You Are What You Read” by Jodie Jackson

Jodie Jackson has written one of the best books taking a look at modern media and the power it exerts. Her volume entitled You Are What You Read adopts the stance that mass media conglomerates, driven by human nature, profit, and half-understood ideals, focus their coverage on negative events rather than providing balanced reporting. She discusses her ideas with a personal and conversational style revealing a fierce intellect and passion for the subject, but the book likewise reflects her extensive research on the subject. She has a psychological background that adds richness to her study of how news coverage affects our point of view and I believe most readers will finish this book agreeing with Jackson that we lack any meaningful balance in our media diet.

ABOUT THE BOOK: you-are-what-you-read.com/

She identifies how this lack of balance affects our perception of world affairs and the plight of others, how inherent biases found in news coverage are often inescapable but nevertheless detectable, and the underlying motivations for pursuing this news reporting model. She proves capable of mounting effective rebuttals or alternate approaches to correct our missteps in this area without ever exhibiting contempt for our failures. There’s no holier than thou attitude emanating from the text. Jackson, instead, understands what guides these forces and asks we recognize their effect on our world.

The tidy presentation she gives her ideas and concepts is reflective of the deep research and countless talks she has given on the subject. Jackson comes armed with a small fleet of references and information marshaled to buttress her conclusions and shows them with clarity rather than losing readers with uninvolved language. There isn’t a single take on these issues she leaves un-examined and it is a true achievement she manages to do so in condensed and satisfying fashion.

ABOUT JODIE JACKSON: www.jodiejackson.com/

You Are What You Read builds in such a way that it is an easy read for laymen and those involved in the media world alike. It is clear Jackson wants the book to reach the widest possible audience because this is the only avenue for affecting real change. Make no mistake, Jackson’s aims are ambitious. She advocates for nothing less than sweeping changes to the long-standing model governing news coverage on both large and smaller scales, but it isn’t empty posturing. Much of the book’s second half devotes itself to outlining how such goals are attainable.

She succeeds in giving us a book any thinking reader can find value in. It provides proverbial food for thought. Jackson sets forth her arguments with an even hand and a willingness to hear dissenting views rather than shutting them out. This wont for reasoned discussion makes You Are What You Read a good read and gripping social document. The subject she deals with has a real impact on our daily lives and that impact will only continue to grow with our increasing inter-connectivity. We should look at Jodie Jackson as a voice on the front lines of this issue and one that will not be silenced.

Clay Burton