Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry

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Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry (ISBN 9781741752175) is a book by Bob Burton, the editor of the Center for Media and Democracy's SourceWatch website. Inside Spin was released in August 2007 and largely focuses on Australian PR case studies.

The Back Cover

A blistering critique of the largely hidden role played by the public relations industry in Australia, Inside Spin reveals how corporate and government spin doctors invisibly influence just about every news story we read, see and hear. Winner of the 2005 Iremonger Award for Writing on Public Issues.

Public relations professionals invisibly influence just about every news story we read, see and hear. Even more significant is what they manage to keep out of the news altogether.

Inside Spin is the first behind the scenes investigation of the billion dollar a year Australian PR industry. Bob Burton illuminates the hardball and soft tactics used by PR companies to smother dissenting viewpoints, mask sponsors, court journalists, attack corporate competitors and influence politicians. Through detailed case studies from both private and public sectors, he shows just how much PR filters what we see, hear and think about the organisations that affect our lives and shape our society.

Inside Spin is a searing expose of the influence industry and the deep-pocketed organisations they serve.

Table of Contents

Comments About Inside Spin

  • "While journalists surrender to the increasing mastery of the misinformation industry, media consumers will more often need to become their own gatekeepers. Bob Burton's Inside Spin is a comprehensive guidebook." Chris Masters, ABC TV Four Corners.
  • "A punchy and passionate book that tells us things we need to know about both PR and journalism." Margaret Simons, author and journalist.
  • "Fans of ABC TV's Mediawatch will be intrigued and entertained by Inside Spin, a meticulously researched look at how the PR industry influences governments, the media and public opinion ... Fascinating!". Jo Case, Editor of Readings Monthly, August 2007. (Readings is an independent bookstore company in Melbourne).
  • "Inside Spin won't come as a total surprise to anyone in the media, and PR industry insiders are likely heaving a sigh of relief about the stuff that didn't fall into Burton's hands. But the book - which draws on leaks, FOI requests and good old fashioned sleuthing - will certainly be an eye-opener for the general public and should be compulsory reading for all journalism students." "PR book reveals fast food giant's McSpin", Bendigo Advertiser, August 12, 2007. (This is an AAP story).
  • "Inside Spin should be compulsory reading for every journalist and, just as important, for a public trying to make sense of the daily news". Gabrielle Chan, "Unhealthy world of spin doctoring", The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), August 26, 2007, p.17.
  • "The value of Inside Spin is that its hair-raising stories help us see what is reasonable and what is harmful and unethical ... The best defence against PR tactics is understanding and recognising them when they occur. Written in Australia but with various New Zealand examples, this book is an outstanding guide to how PR is conducted, the harm it can cause and what journalists and the public can do about it. It's a book that needed to be written." Nicky Hager, "Book review: Inside Spin: the dark underbelly of the PR industry", Sunday Star Times (New Zealand), August 26, 2007. (Hager and Burton co-authored the 1999 book, Secrets and Lies).

External links

Extracts & Op-Eds

Articles

Reviews

  • Jo Case, "Inside Spin", Readings Monthly, August 2007, p. 14. (3.4MB pdf)
  • Fiona Capp, Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry, The Age (Melbourne), August 25, 2007, p.22.
  • Gabrielle Chan, "Unhealthy world of spin doctoring", The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), August 26, 2007, p.17.
  • Nicky Hager, "Book review: Inside Spin: the dark underbelly of the PR industry", Sunday Star Times (New Zealand), August 26, 2007.