Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences

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9780742555198: Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences

Viewer Discretion Advised shows where our media has gone wrong and what we can do about it. Established media critic Jeffrey McCall illustrates the problems with much of contemporary media content, why it is this way, and how consumers can actively shape the media. He sets out to increase our understanding of how different media work and how media content affects us daily, addressing a number of key media issues. McCall explains how the news agenda is shaped and why it fails to effectively inform the citizenry; how the First Amendment does and doesn't work; and how to manage children's media use. He further highlights the overwhelming influence of big media corporations in dictating cultural standards and the government's role in regulating the media. The final chapter is a helpful guide on how readers can actively challenge media companies. Stop complaining about media content_change it!

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About the Author:

Jeffrey McCall is a media studies professor at DePauw University. He is also a contributing op-ed columnist on contemporary media issues. His columns have been published in a number of newspapers. He is a widely quoted media observer and critic, having been interviewed and quoted by over 75 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Christian Science Monitor, and others. He has also made a number of appearances on radio and television shows.

Review:

In Viewer Discretion Advised Jeffrey McCall gets right to the heart of why the mass media are of such concern to so many people. He illuminates the controversial issues of media sex, superficial news, a media-hijacked political system, lack of protection for children, and the limits of First Amendment protections of speech. McCall writes with a clear, engaging style so that everyone can read this intriguing book―and everyone should read it. (W. James Potter, University of California, Santa Barbara; author, Media Literacy and The 11 Myths of Media Violence)

Jeff McCall's searing book raises painful issues that we all―as Americans, as journalists, and as consumers of mass media―should be examining and for which we should be demanding answers and change. Though I disagree personally and professionally with important parts of his analysis, I applaud his journey into my world and the spotlight of his challenging questions. (John McWethy, former National Security Correspondent, ABC News)

McCall offers practical advice on how Americans can insist on more responsible media and better control of their own viewing habits and those of their children. (Booklist)

Highly recommended. All readers; all levels. (CHOICE)

A combination of a plea for media literary/education and a set of elements for such a course, Viewer Discretion Advised presents a good deal of information about the mass media in the United States... (Communication Research Trends)

McCall offers analysis of media elements from the First Amendment to the Advent of video news releases. He explores shortcomings in television from the level of sex and violence in programming to the paucity of serious coverage of social issues or political campaigns. . . . Offers practical advice on how Americans can insist on more repsonsible media and better control their own viewing habits and those of their children. (CHOICE)

Article by author (Jeffrey M. McCall, 29 Nov 2009 The Hartford Courant)

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