Rich Media, Poor Democracy: COMMUNICATION POLITICS IN DUBIOUS TIMES (History of Communication)

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9780252024481: Rich Media, Poor Democracy: COMMUNICATION POLITICS IN DUBIOUS TIMES (History of Communication)
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Argues that mass media has become a major anti-democratic force in the United States and worldwide

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Robert McChesney makes no bones about it: he is a democrat with a small "d," and in this book, Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times, that spells leftist. As a media scholar (McChesney is a communications professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), he is primarily concerned with "the contradiction," as he puts it, "between a for-profit, highly concentrated, advertising-saturated, corporate media system and the communication requirements of a democratic society." As a citizen, he favors resolving this contradiction through measures that would make your average CEO's skin crawl: massive government subsidies for nonprofit journalism, vigorous antitrust litigation aimed at media conglomerates, and robust regulation of corporate broadcasters.

If your politics lie anywhere to the right of Ralph Nader's, in other words, don't come to this book looking for validation. But for a stimulating, nuanced, and rigorously researched presentation of the case for overhauling the current media regime, look no further. McChesney displays a sure grasp of today's fast-evolving, high-tech mediascape, and his arguments about how to shape its future evolution (especially his critique of the now-prevalent idea that corporations deserve First Amendment rights) unfold with an often-startling common sense. Whether or not you agree with his prescriptions in the end, McChesney's sweepingly expansive notions of democracy--and of the importance of media within it--demand to be reckoned with. --Julian Dibbell

From the Inside Flap:

Robert McChesney argues that the media, far from providing a bedrock for freedom and democracy, have become a significant antidemocratic force in the United States and, to varying degrees, worldwide.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy addresses the corporate media explosion and the corresponding implosion of public life that characterizes our times. Challenging the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information "choices" is ipso facto a democratic one, McChesney argues that the major beneficiaries of the so-called Information Age are wealthy investors, advertisers, and a handful of enormous media, computer, and telecommunications corporations. This concentrated corporate control, McChesney maintains, is disastrous for any notion of participatory democracy.

Combining unprecedented detail on current events with historical sweep, McChesney chronicles the waves of media mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s. He reviews the corrupt and secretive enactment of public policies surrounding the Internet, digital television, and public broadcasting. He also addresses the gradual and ominous adaptation of the First Amendment ("freedom of the press") as a means of shielding corporate media power and the wealthy.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy exposes several myths about the media -- in particular, that the market compels media firms to "give the people what they want" -- that limit the ability of citizens to grasp the real nature and logic of the media system. If we value our democracy, McChesney warns, we must organize politically to restructure the media in order to affirm their connection to democracy.

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Book Description University of Illinois Press, United States, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Robert McChesney argues that the media, far from providing a bedrock for freedom and democracy, have become a significant antidemocratic force in the United States and, to varying degrees, worldwide. "Rich Media, Poor Democracy" addresses the corporate media explosion and the corresponding implosion of public life that characterizes our times. Challenging the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information 'choices' is ipso facto a democratic one, McChesney argues that the major beneficiaries of the so-called Information Age are wealthy investors, advertisers, and a handful of enormous media, computer, and telecommunications corporations.This concentrated corporate control, McChesney maintains, is disastrous for any notion of participatory democracy. Combining unprecedented detail on current events with historical sweep, McChesney chronicles the waves of media mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s. He reviews the corrupt and secretive enactment of public policies surrounding the Internet, digital television, and public broadcasting.He also addresses the gradual and ominous adaptation of the First Amendment ('freedom of the press') as a means of shielding corporate media power and the wealthy. "Rich Media, Poor Democracy" exposes several myths about the media-in particular, that the market compels media firms to 'give the people what they want'- that limit the ability of citizens to grasp the real nature and logic of the media system. If we value our democracy, McChesney warns, we must organize politically to restructure the media in order to affirm their connection to democracy. Seller Inventory # BTE9780252024481

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