Lost Storytellers
The Information Apocalypse in the Modern Newsroom

John Pendygraft

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Available for pre-order. This book will be available June, 2022

Community journalism in the era of clickbait  
“Veteran journalist John Pendygraft offers a perceptive analysis of what’s gone wrong with the news industry, accompanied by heart-wrenching anecdotes that illustrate exactly what he’s talking about. Anyone who cares about the future of journalism—and American democracy—should read this book.”—Craig Pittman, author of The State You’re In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife  
“Essential reading for every former, current, or future journalist. Pendygraft addresses the decline of public trust in the press and the alarming rise in ‘news deserts’ and ‘ghost papers’ across the country while simultaneously offering hope that aspiring journalists can rebuild trust through ‘culture-building storytelling’ and long-term solutions that serve the public good.”—Bernell Tripp, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
“Pendygraft applies a journalist’s eye to a newsroom trying to remain viable amidst cultural and industry change. For Pendygraft, the answer to journalistic integrity is in creating distinct and well-defined digital news spaces among other channels that try to breed confusion.”—William Schulte, Winthrop University
  A chilling, incisive, and firsthand look at the landscape of community news today, Lost Storytellers argues that the decline of local journalism threatens the future of democracy. Award-winning photojournalist John Pendygraft asks: How did Americans lose trust in the media, and how can their local newsrooms earn it back?            
Pendygraft uses his own experiences at Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, to illustrate why trusted local reporting matters more than ever in the era of “fake news,” clickbait, conspiracy theories, and social media. Through interviews with his colleagues, the history of his own beloved paper, journeys into the evolutionary psychology of storytelling, and examples of the ways multi-national media conglomerates hook readers on news cycles of chaos and crisis, Pendygraft argues that community journalists can reclaim their roles as local storytellers—and that the public good demands that they try. Lost Storytellers offers insights for all who feel confused about the media, politics, and the well-being of their communities in the information age.  
John Pendygraft has been a photojournalist for the Tampa Bay Times since 1997. He has received national awards for feature writing, video, and still photography from the American Society of News Editors, Society of Professional Journalists, Scripps Howard Foundation, National Headliner Awards, Pictures of the Year International, and the Emmys. He is a Ph.D. student in anthropology at the University of South Florida.

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