Synopses & Reviews
"Successfully integrates media content, commerce, technology, and external influences and... traces the interconnected web of the established media and the emergent medium of television." -- American Historical Review
"In this readable volume, Baughman provides a remarkably complete historical account of the changing nature of the media industries in postwar America. Baughman's study highlights the powerful impact of television on other media industries. He argues that many competing industries failed to perceive the threat of television's increasing popularity until television had captured an increasingly large share of the mass audience. Television's preeminence has profoundly, if indirectly, shaped the content of the other media industries." Reviewed by Peter Walpole, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
The new edition of James L. Baughman's successful book The Republic of Mass Culture examines the advent of television and the impact it had on the established mass media -- radio, film, newspapers, and magazines. When television captured the largest share of the mass audience by the late 1950s, rival media were forced to target smaller, subgroup markets with novel content: rock 'n' roll for teenage radio listeners in the 1950s, sexually explicit films that began to appear in the 1960s, and analytical newspaper reporting in the 1970s and 1980s. The growing popularity of cable TV posed new complications, especially for network television. The capacity of individual media industries to adapt not only determined their success or failure but also shaped the content of their products.
Two new chapters examine media entrants like Fox News, technologies such as the Internet, and increasing industry concentration. Baughman discusses significant changes in media economics and audience demand that are having profound effects on radio program formats, television news coverage, and the very existence of newspapers.
Carefully drawing on interdisciplinary communication research, The Republic of Mass Culture presents a lively analysis of the shifting objectives and challenges of the media industries.