I wask her if the issues of the book overlapped with her radio program On the Media, and if their audiences were shared.
Brooke agreed there is overlap and she was able to use information she had learned not only with the radio program but prior reporting for NPR. She chose to write the book when she was starting to reach some conclusions about what she was observing with the media and perception of the media.
She thinks the audience for the book and radio program are pretty much the same - what both are looking for is more information and knowledge about the news they are consuming.
I asked how she'd researched the book and what surprising things she'd learned. As a reader, I was surprised to learn how far back censorship, and favoritism, of the new media from the U.S. president went, namely all the way back to ol' George Washington and even "Honest Abe" Lincoln sounded like he played favorites with newspapers while also censoring, as she described it, "300 opposition newspapers."
To put the book together, Brooke said she developed an outline for each chapter, then found herself "going down a bunch of rabbit holes, which would lead to another than another," and so she ended up researching everything from William James to Dante to modern figures and everything in between.
One of the interesting pieces of information she learned concerns a famous piece written by Adolph Ochs after buying The New York Times. She said it sums up perfectly a problem many newspapers struggle with still: "Many cite his statement of intent as one of the earliest, best expressions of journalism's highest ideals... 'It will be my earnest aim that The New York Times gives the news... impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect, or interest involved... to invite intelligent discussions from all shares of opinion.' People usually end the quote at this point but he goes on... 'Nor will there be a departure from the general tone... unless it be.. to intensify its devotion to the cause of sound money and tariff reform... and in its advocacy of the lowest tax consistent with good government and no more government than is absolutely necessary to protect society."