"Newzak” or “newsak” (news + muzak) is a kind of news, like muzak, that people listen to but don’t intellectually involve themselves with. English journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) coined “newzak” in 1968. “Newszak” was first cited in print in 1983.
Council for Basic Education Bulletin
Malcolm Muggeridge, the English writer, has invented the term “Newzak” to describe the manufactured news that we often see on television.
26 January 1969, Los Angeles (CA) Times, TV Tmes, pg. M2:
Is It News Or Is It Newzak?
By Cecil Smith
24 April 1971, Boston (MA) Globe, pg. 9:
Newzak: Is this what the news is now?
By Malcolm Muggeridge
18 January 1983, New York (NY) Times, “‘Entertainment Tonight, Television’s ‘Newszak’” by Sally Bedell, pg. C15:
Transmitted by satellite to 128 stations, the flashy, staccato-paced ‘Entertainment Tonight’ has become the most popular new non-network show on television. It is the latest example of a growing trend in television to use a news format for an essentially entertainment program, an amalgam that has been characterized in the industry as ‘newszak.’
New York (NY) Times
SUNDAY OBSERVER; Modern-Day Gloom
BY RUSSELL BAKER
Published: May 24, 1987
After the soap my wife switched to the Newszak channel.
OCLC WorldCat record
Newszak and news media
Author: Bob Franklin
Publisher: London [u.a.] : Arnold, 1997.
Edition/Format: Book : English : 1. publ. in Great Britain
A form of news coverage which is watered-down, dumbed-down and/or consists of stories of limited importance but greater popular appeal.
Step into an elevator and you hear muzak. Tune to CNN, MSNBC, or FOX News Channel and you see newzak.
by Chris Connett Jun 27, 2006
Wednesday Words: Cable ‘Newzak,’ Punishments for Boozing and More
By Katy Steinmetz Oct. 12, 2011
Stewart speak: “newzak”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, satirical social commentator Jon Stewart described the 24-hour news cycle’s potential for becoming “newzak,” the equivalent of elevator music in which soulless notes are replaced with vapid non-stories. “[The 24-hour networks] are now the absolute most powerful force driving the political narrative,” he said. “And the picture that they create is one of conflict, because they’re on for 24 hours a day, so they have to create a compelling reason for you to watch them. Otherwise they’re just Muzak—newzak.”
New York City • Media/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Sunday, April 28, 2013 • Permalink