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The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-first Centuryby Robert W. McChesney
Synopses & Reviews
The symptoms of the crisis of the U.S. media are well-known—a decline in hard news, the growth of info-tainment and advertorials, staff cuts and concentration of ownership, increasing conformity of viewpoint and suppression of genuine debate. McChesney's new book, The Problem of the Media, gets to the roots of this crisis, explains it, and points a way forward for the growing media reform movement.
Moving consistently from critique to action, the book explores the political economy of the media, illuminating its major flashpoints and controversies by locating them in the political economy of U.S. capitalism. It deals with issues such as the declining quality of journalism, the question of bias, the weakness of the public broadcasting sector, and the limits and possibilities of antitrust legislation in regulating the media. It points out the ways in which the existing media system has become a threat to democracy, and shows how it could be made to serve the interests of the majority.
McChesney's Rich Media, Poor Democracy was hailed as a pioneering analysis of the way in which media had come to serve the interests of corporate profit rather than public enlightenment and debate. Bill Moyers commented, "If Thomas Paine were around, he would have written this book." The Problem of the Media is certain to be a landmark in media studies, a vital resource for media activism, and essential reading for concerned scholars and citizens everywhere.
Book News Annotation:
Media analyst McChesney (communication, U. of Illinois-Urbana Champaign) deconstructs how the media system works in the US so that citizens can see it isn't so mysterious and be inspired to take a role in reshaping the flawed policies that the system is built on. McChesney argues that the increasingly corporate domination of both the media system and the policy-making process that surrounds it are causing serious problems for a functioning democracy and a healthy system; he explores eight myths about the media that, once dismantled, clear the way for wholesale reform.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
Robert W. McChesney is professor of communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy and Our Media, Not Theirs, and co-editor of Monthly Review.
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