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September 26 , 2018

They're Gonna Murder You: War Stories From My Life at the News Front

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As a reporter for 30 years in both newspapers and television, Clarence Jones was always taking risks. He specialized in the Mafia, dirty cops and crooked politicians. Who better to kill you and get with it than a Mafia hit man or a corrupt cop who will be assigned to investigate your death?
His friends were always warning him: They're Gonna Murder You.
But he persisted, and became the only reporter for a local station to ever win three DuPont Columbia awards – television's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize.
He's a great story teller. The war stories from his remarkable reporting career read like a murder mystery or a spy novel. Go with him into the bookie joints in Louisville with a hidden camera. Or to a Miami crime scene, where the victims were almost certainly murdered by cops.
Travel with him as he tails Florida's chief justice to a Las Vegas casino. And as you cover Martin Luther King's civil rights campaigns, always start your car with the door open. If the KKK has planted a bomb, the blast will blow you out of the car. You'll probably survive.

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Set against a worldwide canvas that includes New York, Paris and Germany "News on the Home Front" tells the story of two women who have been friends since their childhood in West Lake, Maryland. The world war has torn apart their lives leaving each trying to find a way to put it back together. It's been a difficult few years with rationing…

Hold your breath as Clarence's car sinks in a canal, so he can show you how to escape. Control your fear in the middle of a race riot when the police retreat and the mob turns on you.
Watch him slip a recorder into a private meeting between Richard Nixon and Southern delegates at the 1968 Republican Convention, so Clarence could report what Nixon said about his private views on school busing to integrate schools.

Cringe as Clarence shares inside stories of how news was slanted at his first newspaper and public officials were coddled.

Rejoice in the chapter "Bosses with Balls" as owners and editors at his later paper and TV stations take career and financial risks to support his reporting.
Worry about the future of the democracy as mega-corporations take over news outlets and the bean counters abandon journalism's goals of truth, fairness, and public service.

Jones tells it the way it was. The way it REALLY was. And how great reporting may yet triumph.

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