This text encourages students to be active media consumers and gives them a deeper understanding of the role that the media play in both shaping and reflecting culture. Through this cultural perspective, students learn that audience members are as much a part of the mass communication process as are the media producers, technologies, and industries. This was the first, and remains the only, university-level text to make media literacy central to its approach, and given recent national and global turmoil, its emphasis on media use and democracy could not be more timely.
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Stanley Baran earned his Ph.D. in communication research at the University of Massachusetts after taking his M.A. in journalism at Pennsylvania State University. He taught for 4 years at Cleveland State University, eventually moving to the University of Texas. He led the Department of Radio-TV-Film’s graduate program for 6 of his 9 years in Austin and won numerous teaching awards there, including the AMOCO Teaching Excellence Award as the best instructor on that 40,000-student campus, the College of Communication’s Teaching Excellence Award as that college’s outstanding professor, and Utmost Magazine’s Student Poll for best instructor. Dr. Baran moved to San Jose State University in 1987 and served 9 years as chair of the Department of Television, Radio, Film, and Theatre. At SJSU he was named President’s Scholar as the University’s outstanding researcher. Now, he teaches at Bryant University, where he is the founding chair of that school’s Communication Department. Among his other experiences shaping this book are service as a Fulbright Scholar and his many years of professional activity in audience research, writing for radio, and producing for television. Dr. Baran has published 10 books and scores of scholarly articles and sits or has sat on the editorial boards of six journals. His work has been translated into half-a-dozen languages. He is a skilled boater and a tenor saxophonist for the Wakefield, Rhode Island, Concert Band. He is married to Susan Baran and has two very cool children, Matt and Jordan, who grew up much faster than he wanted.
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