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1. Mass Media Research : An Introduction
$19.14 $19.12 list($29.00)
2. Buried by the Times : The Holocaust
$15.61 list($22.95)
3. Attack the Messenger : How Politicians
$41.28 $32.25 list($48.00)
4. The New Media Reader
$16.32 $15.59 list($24.00)
5. Ogilvy on Advertising
$27.95 $3.95
6. Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How
$15.61 list($22.95)
7. Mediated : The Hidden Effects
$28.35 $25.00 list($45.00)
8. Visual Explanations: Images and
$69.80 $58.69
9. Communication Theories: Origins,
$59.95 $27.95
10. The Interplay of Influence: News,
$39.95 $29.00 list($45.00)
11. Practices of Looking: An Introduction
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12. The Media of Mass Communication
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13. Manufacturing Consent : The Political
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14. The Rise of the Network Society
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15. Give Me a Break : How I Exposed
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16. We the Media
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17. Arrogance: Rescuing America From
$10.36 $7.50 list($12.95)
18. The Elements of Journalism : What
list($57.00)
19. Global Communication: Theories,
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20. Propaganda

1. Mass Media Research : An Introduction (with InfoTrac) (Wadsworth Series in Mass Communication and Journalism)
by Roger D. Wimmer, Joseph R. Dominick
list price: $98.95
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Asin: 0534562744
Catlog: Book (2002-07-23)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 41217
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Book Description

This text begins with an overview of mass communication research and ethics of research. It then explores each major approach to research, including qualitative research, content analysis, survey research, longitudinal research, and experimental research. The text continues with a section on data analysis, and concludes with a forward-looking section on research applications, covering such topics as research in print and electronic media and on the Internet. ... Read more


2. Buried by the Times : The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper
by Laurel Leff
list price: $29.00
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Asin: 0521812879
Catlog: Book (2005-03-21)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 9113
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Buried by The Times: The Holocaust and America's Most Important Newspaper is an in-depth look at how The New York Times failed in its coverage of the fate of European Jews from 1939-1945. It examines how the decisions that were made at The Times ultimately resulted in the minimizing and misunderstanding of modern history's worst genocide. Laurel Leff, a veteran journalist and professor of journalism, recounts how personal relationships at the newspaper, the assimilationist tendencies of The Times' Jewish owner, and the ethos of mid-century America all led the Times to consistently downplay news of the Holocaust. It recalls how news of Hitler's 'final solution' was hidden from readers and - because of the newspaper's influence on other media - from America at large. Buried by The Times is required reading for anyone interested in America's response to the Holocaust and for anyone curious about how journalists determine what is newsworthy. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars It doesn't surprise me
I was turned on to this book by a friend and when I next saw him, he asked me, refering to the author Laurel Leff's revelations, "did you know that?" I answered that I didn't know that the Times had basically hidden the news of the holocaust but, on the other hand, finding this out didn't surprise me. Sulzberger was an assimilated Jew, the descendent of Rabbi Steven Wise, a renowned Reform Rabbi whose theology was very assimilationist. Thus, despite his Jewishness, the Times rarely ran a major story about what was going on in the concentration camps and the stories that were written were not positioned in a prominent place. If they made the front page, it would not be postioned as the lead story.

Incredibly, the coverage of the holocaust did not mention "Jews" specifically. By reading the Times, you would not have known the extent of the genocide nor would you have known that Jews were the major target of the Nazi extermination efforts. It is important to note that there was never a "smoking gun" uncovered, i.e., a memo or written directive from Sulzberger ordering the staff of the Times to soft pedal the events in the concentration camps. What is beyond dispute is that the Sulzberger family was secular and did not view Jews as a people. What is further beyond dispute is that the coverage by the Times was scant. Thus, whether by directive or not, the Times failed miserably in its role as "journal of record," making a mockery of its motto "all the news that's fit to print. What is particularly reprehensible is that members of the Sulzberger family were being rescued while the details of the holocaust were being quashed.

The Times, could have been influential but, tragically, it failed to exercise it's influence. Roosevelt basically looked the other way and, in sadness, we can only wonder whether he could have withstood the pressure and continued to do little if the Times had fully covered the events. Back then the Times obviously had an agenda and today, it still does. There was daily coverage of the Abu Ghraib prison abuses with one breathless headline after another. That was the more recent Times' agenda, specifically, to discredit the efforts in Iraq, particularly in an election year when the events there might have been a campaign issue. Tragically, there were no such breathless headlines during the darkest hours of the holocaust.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good research but....
This is a very good book about how the New York Times family owners purposefully avoided dealing with the issue of anti-Semitism in Europe, and particularly Nazi Germany, while at the same time the Sulzberger family did everything it could to get its relatives out before the deluge. Laurel Leff has done a masterful job of showing how the Sulzberger clan became complicit in one of the darkest chapters in human history by not using the power of the paper to expose the real nature of the evil that Nazism was. Of course she does address the fact that anti-Semitism was not just a German issue, but from my perspective she does not go into enough detail about the extent of anti-Semitism in the US, and particularly major movers and shakers such as Joseph Kennedy who hated Jews so much that he always referred to them as "kikes" and opposed any action by the Roosevelt administration to educate the American public about the threat to Western civilization, even though he was ambassador to the Court of St. James at the time.
But the problem with this book is that it focuses on the Times as if it somehow committed this sin for the first time in misleading the American public. I agree with her thesis that the Times has been hoisted as the most influential paper in the world among lazy elites, including those who have reviewed her book, but that is rapidly changing now, primarily due to the fact that the paper has failed so miserably in many areas, including the latest diversions of small change like Jason Blair. But the biggest holocaust of the last century did not occur in the ovens built by the Nazis, it was committed in the Ukraine when Stalin's forced collectivization starved far more Ukrainians to death than Hitler killed with his Zyklon-B. And the Times had a reporter, Walter Duranty, in Moscow at the time who won a Pulitzer Prize for mis-reporting this horror. Duranty was "Stalin's apologist" in many ways, dismissing honest reporters who covered the biggest holocaust as "overwrought"when they filed stories about the millions murdered by Stalin, filing stories about the "show trials" of Stalin as if they were legitimate trials that led to the deaths of millions more, and many other atrocities. Most serious scholars now have to acknowledge that the starvation of 8 million Ukrainians was not just an "unintentional consequence" of collectivization, and it really remains the NY Times most outrageous attack on the truth, the Nazi death camps notwithstanding. There are many stories in the NY Times thatreveal the lie that is it's masthead of "All the news that's fit to print." The Times fought mightily to keep Duranty'sprize last year when serious reporters wanted to take it away because it was gained by fraudulent means. Of course the paper has done a great job of condemning the awarding of Olympic medals by drug-enhanced athletes, but can't see the hypocrisy of its own efforts to keep Duranty's decades of duplicity being rewarded with a Pulitzer.
I recommend this book because it shows the hypocrisy of the Sulzberger clan in dealing with Hitler's "final solution" but it is not the biggest sin committed by this paper in miseducating the people it supposedly serves.
... Read more


3. Attack the Messenger : How Politicians Turn You Against the Media (American Political Challenges)
by Craig Crawford
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 0742538168
Catlog: Book (2005-09-25)
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Sales Rank: 100856
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Book Description

Politicians and the media are natural enemies, but in recent times, the relationship has exploded into all-out war. Think about bimbo eruptions, DUI arrests, cocaine parties, National Guard service records, Swift Boat veterans. Think about two generations of Bush presidents up against Dan Rather. Think about who lost. Craig Crawford has seen it all up close and personal, and he is disturbed by what he sees. When politicians turn the public against the media, everyone loses--especially unbiased and courageous news reporting. When veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas is banished from her front row post, as she has been in the current administration, the American public is denied the chance to consider her pointed questions, even if they go unanswered. Worse, when traditional reporters and media are displaced, the pundits and alternative media take over. Rush, the O'Reilly Factor, Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, and the bloggers have their place in American politics, and the 2004 elections showed the incredible power of the Internet. These media, however, are a different breed, as Crawford points out--they serve a purpose, but at a cost. They become opinion merchants, bartering outrageous assertions for audience appeal with little attention to the truth. These days, the truth is hard to find. If the press is not believed--or believable--because politicians have turned the public against it, then the press is not free, but under the thumbs of politicians. Without a free press, there is no democracy. That, says Craig Crawford, is where we find ourselves today. If you don't like the news, attack the messenger, and it will go away. Going, going, gone. ... Read more


4. The New Media Reader
list price: $48.00
our price: $41.28
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Asin: 0262232278
Catlog: Book (2003-02-14)
Publisher: The MIT Press
Sales Rank: 45834
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This reader collects the texts, videos, and computer programs--many of them now almost impossible to find--that chronicle the history and form the foundation of the still-emerging field of new media. General introductions by Janet Murray and Lev Manovich, along with short introductions to each of the texts, place the works in their historical context and explain their significance. The texts were originally published between World War II--when digital computing, cybernetic feedback, and early notions of hypertext and the Internet first appeared--and the emergence of the World Wide Web--when they entered the mainstream of public life.

The texts are by computer scientists, artists, architects, literary writers, interface designers, cultural critics, and individuals working across disciplines. The contributors include (chronologically) Jorge Luis Borges, Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Ivan Sutherland, William S. Burroughs, Ted Nelson, Italo Calvino, Marshall McLuhan, Billy Kl?Jean Baudrillard, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Kay, Bill Viola, Sherry Turkle, Richard Stallman, Brenda Laurel, Langdon Winner, Robert Coover, and Tim Berners-Lee. The CD accompanying the book contains examples of early games, digital art, independent literary efforts, software created at universities, and home-computer commercial software. Also on the CD is digitized video, documenting new media programs and artwork for which no operational version exists. One example is a video record of Douglas Engelbart's first presentation of the mouse, word processor, hyperlink, computer-supported cooperative work, video conferencing, and the dividing up of the screen we now call non-overlapping windows; another is documentation of Lynn Hershman's Lorna, the first interactive video art installation.
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rosetta Stone of Hypertext
This huge tome is a must have for anyone who wants to deeply understand hypertext and its precursors. From William Burroughs to Doug Englebart and Augosto Boal to Ted Nelson this book presents a huge range of articles (and discursive commentary) of interest to computer scientists, writers, new media workers, artists and everyone in between. This is one stop shopping for new media literacy with over 800 pages of good stuff, much of it very hard to find outside of this volume.

5-0 out of 5 stars Well done!
Fascinating, thorough in its analysis, beautifully designed reader/player. Good, well-rounded selection of texts and new media objects with no attempt to be exhaustive (to the editors' credit). I plan to use it as one of the texts in an upcoming university course. ... Read more


5. Ogilvy on Advertising
by DAVID OGILVY
list price: $24.00
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Asin: 039472903X
Catlog: Book (1985-03-12)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 9635
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A candid and indispensable primer on all aspects of advertising from the man Time has called "the most sought after wizard in the business". 223 photos. ... Read more

Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars If there's only 1 book on advertising to read, this is it.
No one who has anything to do with advertising should have anything to do with advertising before reading this book at least 7 times; most of all agency people. Mandatory reading sessions every 6 months should be a be a job requirement for every agency employee. Why? So they don't forget that advertising is not an artform...it is sales...just as Ogilvy says/quotes...if it doesn't sell it's not creative (this doesn't mean that advertising that does sell shouldn't be creative). The single most amazing fact of this book is its flow which provides for totally effortless reading. The wealth of information paird with the entertaining autobiographical and documentary elements and examples creates one of the most solid & comprehensive books on the topic. It is equally suitable reading material for ad-executives, students and laymen (and women). First-class writing in a first-class way.

5-0 out of 5 stars The eternal truth about advertising
Some people may find the advice in this book out of date. Me, for one, will never trade this book for a more up to date trendy one. The wisdom provided by David Ogilvy is priceless, and outlines the eternal and basics of advertising principles. After all, though we have gone through many changes in the last years, products are still marketed by people to people. If you remember that, you will find this book an amazing experience.

What is particularly nice about it, is that Mr. Oglivy simplifies very complicated subjects, trying to have a 30,000 feet view of the problem, explain the essentials, and give some general guidelines. If you follow the Mr. Ogilvy's thinking pattern, and the principles emphasized (as posed to specific examples) you will be able to learn some of the most important lessons you will ever learn in this field.

To conclude, very recommended, and a must read for all people in the advertising business.

2-0 out of 5 stars No longer applies to the ad world today
I think this was an interesting book for its
time, however the ideas set forth here
are no longer practiced by the company that
Ogilvy created.

4-0 out of 5 stars Every Advertiser Needs a Copy on Their Shelf
Although it is slightly dated, this remains a book that everyone in advertising should have on their shelf. Ogilvy may well be without peer as a master of advertising and anyone considering a career related to advertising needs to read this again-and-again.

Ogilvy is the natural heir to Claude Hopkins (and if you don't know who he is, pick up a copy of "Scientific Advertising") and has the same understanding of advertising as both art and science that Hopkins did. Ogilvy knows that an ad campaign, no matter how visually wonderful it may be, must do one thing: sell.

Ogilvy understands that advertising is fairly synonymous with sales, a fact that far too many advertisers and ad people alike seem to keep forgetting. Witness the mindless glut of ads that ran during the internet boom, read Ogilvy and Hopkins, and you'll understand why so many internet companies died on the vine when they couldn't attract customers. Admittedly, a number of internet companies lacked a true product or service to sell, but most did not do themselves any favors with their advertising.

Whether you are new to advertising or a seasoned pro, this book is a must have.

4-0 out of 5 stars Valuable if a little dated
Good overview of advertising and how it works. Somewhat out of date at this stage. ... Read more


6. Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News
by Bernard Goldberg
list price: $27.95
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Asin: 0895261901
Catlog: Book (2001-11-01)
Publisher: Regnery Publishing
Sales Rank: 12036
Average Customer Review: 3.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Think the media are biased?CONSERVATIVES HAVE BEEN crying foul for years, but now a veteran CBS reporter has come forward to expose how liberal bias pervades the mainstream media. Even if you've suspected your nightly news is slanted to the left, it's far worse than you think.Breaking ranks and naming names, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist Bernard Goldberg reveals a corporate news culture in which the close-mindedness is breathtaking, journalistic integrity has been pawned to liberal opinion, and "entertainment" trumps hard news every time.In his three decades at CBS, Goldberg repeatedly voiced his concerns to network executives about the often one-sided nature of the news coverage. But no one listened to his complaints-or if they did listen, they did nothing about the problem. Finally, Goldberg had no choice but to blow the whistle on his own industry, to break the code of silence that pervades the news business. Bias is the result.As the author reveals, "liberal bias" doesn't mean simply being hard on Republicans and easy on Democrats. Real media bias is the result of how those in the media see the world-and their bias directly affects how we all see the world.

In Bias you'll learn:
-How on issues ranging from homelessness to AIDS, reporters have simply regurgitated the propaganda of pressure groups they favor, to the detriment of honest reporting
-The Peter Jennings test for classifying politicians-and how all the networks do it
-The network color bar-why so many "victims" on network news stories are blond-haired, blue-eyed, and middle class
-How one high-level CBS News executive told Goldberg that of course the networks tilt left-but in the next breath said he'd deny that statement if Goldberg ever went public
-One of the biggest stories of our time-and why you probably didn't hear about it on the evening news
-How political correctness in network newsrooms puts "sensitivity" ahead of facts
-The real Dan Rather-a man who regards criticism of liberal bias as treason.If you ever suspected the network news was shortchanging the truth, Goldberg will not only prove you right, he'll give you a glimpse of just how it's done, and how fairness, balance, and integrity have disappeared from network television. ... Read more

Reviews (783)

5-0 out of 5 stars Waking up to the 'frantic orthodoxy'
In 1972, New York film critic Pauline Kael famously said she couldn't understand how Richard Nixon had won 49 of 50 states in the presidential election: 'I don't know a single person who voted for him!'...

In this important book, veteran reporter Bernard Goldberg does not accuse America's broadcast journalists of actively trying to promote a left-wing agenda. Instead, the crux of his argument seems to be that the reporters, editors, producers, and network executives of the so-called 'mainstream media' live in such an insulated, self-referential world that they actually believe, as Dan Rather once argued, that The New York Times editorial page is 'middle of the road.'

Goldberg's book seems aimed, not so much at the general reading public, but at his former colleagues in broadcast news. Indeed, it should come as no surprise to anyone (outside Hollywood and Manhattan, anyway) that the news media has a leftward tilt. According to the late Brill's Content magazine, a 2000 survey showed that even 47 percent of registered Democrats 'believe that most journalists are more liberal than they are.' Only Dan, Tom, Peter, and their fellow insiders continue to insist that they're 'fair and balanced.'

Bernard Goldberg is not ideologically driven. He's not (no matter what Dan Rather and his acolytes say) a member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, nor a 'political activist' pushing a 'political agenda.' Instead, he's pleading with his former colleagues to recognize how far they've strayed away from objectivity and into advocacy. It's a compelling argument to those of us here on the outside. I doubt any of his real audience is even paying attention.

Goldberg's many examples of quotas, preconditions, entertainment-as-news, editorials-as-analysis, and all the rest, are inexorable. It's powerful confirmation of the observation once uttered by the late Austrian writer Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, that the astute observer approaches the media with the mindset, 'What lies do they want me to believe today?'

Today, network TV news is little more than a subset (and a not particularly successful one at that) of the larger 'entertainment industry.' If Bernard Goldberg's powerful book doesn't wake up industry executives to the fact that 'the ship be sinking' (one of his chapter titles), it should at least convince the rest of us to release broadcast 'news' from whatever claim it once had to be taken seriously.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Honest Personal Observation
Bernard Goldberg's book is--and purports to be -- nothing more or less than his personal observations and opinions about the workings of the U.S. TV news industry. He developed his opinions as a result of having been a reporter for CBS News for almost 30 years. His opinions are honest and straightforward, and he's entitled to them. Moreover, they have validity precisely because "he was there." "Bias" is entertaining and insightful, and Mr. Goldberg is perfectly entitled to say everything he says.

The dishonesty of some of the left-leaning reviews of the book just astounds me. For example, the criticism from left-leaning reviewers that his accusations of liberal bias don't count because he doesn't support them with a lot of footnotes is ridiculous. His book is intended to tell us about HIS experiences in TV news, HIS interactions with the media bosses, HIS discussions with other reporters, HIS perceptions of how reporters do their jobs, etc. -- all based on HIS having worked in TV news. The book doesn't need footnotes.

Some of these leftist reviews tell you more about the present-day left than they do about Mr.Goldberg's book. They tell you, essentially, that if a person's opinions aren't politically correct, then the person isn't entitled to them. They tell you that despite what Mr. Goldberg saw and heard, his impressions are invalid because,look, here are some statistics from Eric Alterman or Jonathan Alter or some such liberal that "prove" the media cannot possibly be biased. "Mr. Goldberg," they essentially say, "is not entitled to form opinions based on what he saw and heard and experienced, and you are not entitled to believe him when he conveys those opinions to you. You both must be reeducated to the politically correct 'truth' that the media is not at all biased." Right. The media is not biased and neither are these leftist reviewers; the book is [bad material], and I DO love Big Brother. (But, just between you and me, I highly recommend that you go buy "Bias" and read it anyway.)

3-0 out of 5 stars Hits the spot in parts, but muddled elsewhere
Bernard Goldberg book is a large part opinion, some real issues, others seemingly just a vehicle for him to lay into his old CBS bosses and in particular Dan Rather. He makes fair points about the politically correct sensibilities of the media, an unfortunate trait common to mainstream TV media accross the western world, siting the TV couverage of the homeless and the distorting scare-mongering couverage of the AIDS problem in America.

But as to whether these distortions amount to a mass conspiracy to marginalise conservatives, and promote lofty liberal ideas is debatable. Goldberg does not ever demonstrate consistently news stories being systematically 'liberalised', instead relying on a few selected quotes off-air by various news anchors belittling conservatives, and some larger examples with the one regarding Steve Forbes 'flat tax' inititative repeated several times in the book. What Goldberg does not mention is that this story, aired at the time of the 1996 GOP primaries largely favoured Bob Dole, with a string of high profile Republicans such as Newt Gringrich lining up to rubbish Forbes idea. However the idea of CBS couverage favouring a mainstream Republican would not play well with Goldbergs largely conservative audience.

If Goldberg could demonstrate that the media elites supposed liberal bias was allowed to regularly influence and distort news coverage then there would be a big story, but Goldbergs evidence is few and far between for someone who claims to have witnessed this bias for nearly thirty years. too often he asserts himself and his victimisation without offering an explanation as to why CBS chose to shoot him down as they did, with his likening of the 'media elite' to mafiosi a stupid exaggeration.

What this book does best is demonstrate mindless political correctness that has been allowed to infiltrate many areas of society, rather than a mechanical liberal plot to control the nations newsrooms only unique to the media.

5-0 out of 5 stars the liars at CBS don't want you to read this
the liars at CBS don't want you to read this, especially those on 60 minutes.

read this book and get well educated.

1-0 out of 5 stars A poorly researched, disorganized mess
After reading "Bias", I found the title to be misleading. After all, the book is focuses little on media bias. Bias, for the mostpart, is filled with Goldberg's scathing attacks on former CBS journalists, such as Dan Rather. When the book covers liberalism in the media, I found its conclusions to be shoddy at best.

For instance, Goldberg recalled an incident where CBS journalist Dan Rather identified senators as they were called to an oath book, during a Clinton impeachment hearing. Goldberg then described how Rather labeled "every conservative" at the proceeding, and did not do so for the liberals. When making various media appearances promoting his new book, he cited this example frequently. Unfortunately, it's not true. According to a CBS transcript of the hearing (January 7, 1999) Rather only labeled 3 senators as "conservative".

This is just one of the many instances of inaccuracies I found scattered about the book. Regardless, little is devoted into proving the media bias he claims--or even ellaborating and explaining what he means by a "liberal bias".

The book, really, is only fodder for conservatives. It's not a real piece of journalism. ... Read more


7. Mediated : The Hidden Effects of Media on People, Places, and Things
by Thomas De Zengotita
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
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Asin: 1582343578
Catlog: Book (2005-03-02)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Sales Rank: 550506
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Book Description

A provocative, eye-opening look at the way media shapes every aspect of our lives.

Just when you thought there was nothing new to say about the media, along comes a book that transcends the conventional wisdom with an original vision, one that unites our most intimate personal concerns with far-reaching historical trends in an accessible way.From Princess Diana's funeral to the prospect of mass terror, from oral sex in the Oval Office to cowboy politics in distant lands, from high school cliques to marital therapy, from hip-hop nation to climbing Mt. Everest, from blogs to reality TV to the Weather Channel, Mediated takes us on a tour of every department of our media-saturated society. And at every turn we see ourselves as we are, immersed in options, surrounded by representations, driven to unprecedented levels of self-consciousness-and obliged by these circumstances to transform our very lives into performances.

Sophisticated, satirical, sometimes searing, ultimately forgiving, Mediated tackles everything we take for granted and reintroduces us to it all as if for the first time. You'll laugh, you'll squirm, you'll agree, you'll object-but you'll find more Aha! moments packed into fewer pages than you've ever come across before.
... Read more

8. Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
by Edward R. Tufte
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
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Asin: 0961392126
Catlog: Book (1997-02-01)
Publisher: Graphics Press
Sales Rank: 2353
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

With Visual Explanations, Edward R. Tufte adds a third volume to his indispensable series on information display. The first, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which focuses on charts and graphs that display numerical information, virtually defined the field. The second, Envisioning Information, explores similar territory but with an emphasis on maps and cartography. Visual Explanations centers on dynamic data--information that changes over time. (Tufte has described the three books as being about, respectively, "pictures of numbers, pictures of nouns, and pictures of verbs.")

Like its predecessors, Visual Explanations is both intellectually stimulating and beautiful to behold. Tufte, a self-publisher, takes extraordinary pains with design and production. The book ranges through a variety of topics, including the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger (which could have been prevented, Tufte argues, by better information display on the part of the rocket's engineers), magic tricks, a cholera epidemic in 19th-century London, and the principle of using "the smallest effective difference" to display distinctions in data. Throughout, Tufte presents ideas with crystalline clarity and illustrates them in exquisitely rendered samples. ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars examples where pictures really tell 10,000 words
In this third book by Tufte on graphics, he provides great examples through history where good pictures conveyed important information to decision makers and bad graphics left uncetainty and indecision. A great success story is the identification of the source of the cholera epidemic in London in the 1850s. With regard to the Challenger Space Shuttle, Tufte suggests that one good picture may have convinced the NASA engineers of the need to avoid launching at low temperatures. Great pictures, great examples and great advice are found throughout the book. You may not believe that graphs can be used to answer all scientific questions but Tufte will convince you that they are important and must be done right!

5-0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Insightful
Tufte's third book concentrates on the communication of notions of change and difference, such as an explaination of processes or sequences of events.

One of the many delighful aspects of this book is the diverse and intriging sources of examples, ranging from 19th century bookplates and 20th century art to information kiosks and scientific visualisation. For me the most memorable section was his contrasting the visual displays presented to NASA advising them to abort the disasterous Challanger launch with Frost's investigation into the colera epidemic in 19th-century London. It might sound vague hand waving, but Tufte presents his ideas with incredible clarity and insight and his conclusions are applicable to a wide range of fields, from computer user interface designs to powerpoint presentations and scientific analysis of data.

You can probably guess I really enjoyed this book; as well as being engaging and informative it is beautifully written and stunningly designed. It's philisophic approach will not immediately appeal to everyone, but I enthusiasticly recommend it as essential reading for anyone who needs to communicate complex ideas visually.

For those of you interested in this subject area, I also recommend "Information Architects", edited by Richard Saul Wurman, which although more graphic design oriented has numerous excellent examples of the design processes behind good visual communication

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't buy until you SEE it! You will be disappointed.
This book appeared fascinating to me. The book reviews appeared fascinating to me. But when I actually saw all of the pages inside I was really disappointed. Don't buy this one until you see it - you just may be disappointed too.

4-0 out of 5 stars Learn how human information capacity affects your designs
An amazing book! While I'm not sure that it's worth giving up shelf space for, it's more than worth borrowing from your local library and reading.

The biggest things I pulled out of this were around information density and the capacities that humans have. This book provided me with a framework for looking at mediums of display to the user and to better understand how I can choose how much data and how to present it to best allow them to reason around it.

The examples are also beautifully produced and masterfully composed. The book itself is an amazing artifact!

Near the end, he talks about 'confections' and, while it was an interesting section, it was the one section of the book that it was difficult to pull out prescriptive guidance from.

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable and Revealing Insights
Edward R. Tufte again raises the bar both on his scholarly treatment of how we portray visual information and on how books of value ought to me made.

His third book on information design, Visual Explanation: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative is, in his words, "about pictures of verbs, the representation of mechanism and motion, process and dynamics, causes and effects, explanation and narrative."

Within this book, Mr. Tufte first tackles tough, fundamental issues related to quantity, scale, and magnitude. Determining if a visual representation is honest or accurate may, at first, not seem a vital skill, but Mr. Tufte clearly shows how data and information can be distorted or manipulated and offers sharp observations to help one see more clearly what is presented.

He addresses methods of presenting and analyzing data, using the now classic medical investigative work of John Snow and the fatal flawed decision making that resulting in the Challenger tragedy, to build a steady, compelling argument that there are right and wrong ways to show data.

A chapter on magic and designing disinformation is full of anecdotes, examples, and illustrations about the how's and why's of masking content and diverting attention.

Perhaps my favorite chapter is The Smallest Effective Difference, a challenging but insightful primer on using subtle but effective visual distinctions to create compelling visual information.

The long chapter about visual parallelism treats a complex subject by offering a plethora of examples, all explained with a terse elegance. Students of typography will take a special interest in Mr. Tufte's treatment of letterforms.

How we use and react to multiple images and how to effectively use multiples to evoke repetition, change, pattern, and surprise form the basis of the next chapter. Mr. Tufte again reminds readers that good design must take into account how, when, and even where information will be used.

The final chapter covers what Mr. Tufte has termed visual confections, that is an assembly of myriad visual events to convey a story, make comparisons, merge the real and imaginary. Digital artists should switch off their Macintosh computers until they have studied carefully this chapter, replete with superb illustrations and laser-intense commentary.

Mr. Tufte self-publishes his books because no commercial press would indulge his demands for perfection. His books are wonderful not just because of the information he presents but also because they represent the craft of bookmaking. The printing, binding, the acid-free paper, inks, the arrangement of words and images---these books are to treasure when so much is disposable and fleeting. ... Read more


9. Communication Theories: Origins, Methods and Uses in the Mass Media (5th Edition)
by Werner J. Severin, James W. Tankard
list price: $69.80
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Asin: 0801333350
Catlog: Book (2000-06-19)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Sales Rank: 487046
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Book Description

The Fifth Edition addresses ongoing changes in mass communications and new developments in mass communications theory. The book also applies communication theories to the mass media with current examples from journalism, broadcasting, advertising and public relations to clarify the concepts.A new chapter on cyber communications explores the influential new medium, using discussions of mediamorphosis, hypertext, multimedia, interface design, Internet addiction and Internet dependency. An extensively rewritten chapter on media chains and conglomerates addresses key developments in the field. The book also includes unique coverage of media uses and institutions, meant as an alternative way to think about mass communication.For readers interested in exploring mass communication theory. ... Read more


10. The Interplay of Influence: News, Advertising, Politics, and the Mass Media
by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell
list price: $59.95
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Asin: 0534533647
Catlog: Book (2000-09-05)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 302316
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Book Description

This revised fifth edition text continues to give students an understanding of how the mass media operate in our society and the profound ramifications of media messages in the areas of politics, news, and advertising. In this edition, noted communication scholars Jamieson and Campbell offer thoroughly updated coverage throughout including the Internet's role in media, politics, and advertising. ... Read more


11. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture
by Marita Sturken, Lisa Cartwright
list price: $45.00
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Asin: 0198742711
Catlog: Book (2001-03-15)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 79466
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

4-0 out of 5 stars Read This Book...and then...read more...
The book Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright joins philosophy and the visual world by analyzing books and essays written by a variety of scholars. Sturken and Cartwright use their theories to analyze the basic concepts under the term "visual culture." In one chapter they look at how the spectator, the gaze, the subject and institution are the basic components in mass media. They present a distinction and relationship between address, the ideal viewer's reception, and the actual viewer's response. Sturken and Cartwright present spectatorship as a theory and provide clear and concise examples and evaluations of information that could take any person several years to get through. I have looked at a handful of these sources. Sturken and Cartwright do an adequate job combining and interpreting them, however if you are really interested in the concepts presented in the book, I would recommend reading the original sources; they are more in depth and engaging.

3-0 out of 5 stars Chapter 7 Postmodernism and Popular Culture
What exactly is postmodernism? Out of all the misused words in the English language, postmodernism is used to describe anything that is not modern. Many theorists and scholars have tried to define the broad and ever encompassing theory and term of postmodernism. The most recent explanation of postmodernism that I have received is from reading the book Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright. This is not the best book on postmodernist theory in art; the most complete book on the subject of postmodernism is Postmodernism by Eleanor Heartney.
I am not an authority on the subject of postmodernism or of the readings of scholarly papers or books. I am just a college art student, an untraditional college student who's been going to school for six years. There are some major problems with Sturken and Cartwright's book. At least they're problems that I have. The first problem I have is that the book is not an easy read, it reads more like stereo or VCR instructions. The theories involved are broken down, but still take a degree of understanding and knowledge. The second problem is the images placed in the book as visual aids are all in black and white, when most of the originals are in color. It seems that if the artist wanted the people to view their work in monochrome they would have done it that way in the first place. One needs to have another book with the artworks in color to grasp the full meaning as well as Sturken and Cartwright's message. Heartney's book is the complete opposite of this, it is an easy read, so it's easy to stay interested and all the reproduced artwork is in color which is the way they were when they were created. Heartney breaks down the hard language of theorist and critics that have contributed to postmodernism in words that are easy to read and understand.
After reading this book for a college class this is what I felt I do believe there is a better book out there and many will disagree but I think that the book uses the same hard language that the essays and other writing that were used to write the book came from instead of breaking them down into easy to read chunks. I gave this book a 3 because I read it and did not burn it but I would not recommend it to a friend.

4-0 out of 5 stars Review of Chapter Nine
As a class assignment, I closely studied chapter nine of Practices of Looking, and researched several of the listed source materials. This chapter is entitled "The Global Flow of Visual Culture" and deals with the globalization of Western media, primarily in the form of television and the internet. The authors explore such topics as the history of media globalization, its effects on non-western cultures, pros and cons of the internet, and possibilities that new global technologies afford us.
This chapter was well-presented, persuasive, and useful. It offered a cohesive and informative discussion of a broad variety of topics, dealing with each one in satisfactory depth and detail. After researching a few of the listed sources, I found that while some of them seemed to be surplus to the actual chapter content, those that were used were, on the whole, represented accurately and fairly.
I recommend this book to anyone studying visual culture, due to its detailed and informative treatment of this broad and varied topic.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brief on Practices of Looking (with emphasis on Chapter 8)
In Practices of Looking, imagery in culture is shown to play on the way we perceive, initiate, and direct ourselves in our daily life. This book, indicates that we rely on imagery to guide us daily. This book explains how imagery is the most relied upon role model of today; basically, due to the fact that it is the most direct measure for a humans consumption of information. It provides input on how imagery sells goods through advertising, how images evoke personal memories, and how images can provide us with scientific data. In Society, Imagery can be found in all areas of the social arena. Influence of imagery is never counted alone in any arena. It is quoted in Practices of Looking "That images are never singular, discrete events, but are informed by a broader set of conditions and factors. The identity of science in correlation with imagery is explained in a wide spectrum of social engagements. Anything in the fine arts, film, television, and advertising, to visual data, can provide insight into the way we see things.

In Practices of Looking, written by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, mediums of influence and expression for Science and Imagery are identified in Chapter 8, Scientific Looking, Looking at Science. This chapter projects ideas with scientific imagery from the early 19th century to modern day. The chapter opens your eyes to the realization that we are constantly being fed ideas from imaging dealing with any subject matter. Whether the ideas are correct or not, most people today take the information and the images they see very seriously, especially when there are relations to science. Maybe due to the fact that science has proved itself in time, at least this is one opinion written in Practices of Looking; life science is seen as the "truth" and is accepted as objective knowledge due to the fact that doctors have a clearer understanding for the body through their experience. The understanding and the experience of Doctors is covered very thorougly throughout this chapter. It explains how imagery even comes into play in arenas we would never correlate influence from imagery, like (law and medicine). This chapter provides us with archival proof, predictions, perspective for current and past issues, time frames, and also developmental measurements. I found this book to be a great resource for understanding the influence that imagery has upon us in society. It really gives one a great look at the daily impact that imagery plays, and how it effects the publics outlook. I would definately recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about "how art and media plays a role in society".

3-0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to visual culture, but with a few problems
Visual culture is one of the most difficult subjects that I have taken in four years of college. Sturken and Cartwright attempt to combine the study of art, philosophy, and sociology into a single book. Still, I feel that Practices of Looking is overall well written and does a good job at simplifying the writings and ideas of some of the centuries most noteworthy theorists. Each chapter and subject is clearly laid out and described, while examples and images are effectively and abundantly used. Although I felt that the book is a good introduction for those who have no prior background with the subject, I found there to be several problems.

One problem was that Sturken and Cartwright occasionally either contradicts themselves, or poorly phrases their ideas. For example, on pages 160 and 161, they state that "As distance transmission was facilitated through cables ... long distance broadcasting networks became a reality." However, they later say that "the emergence of cable in the USA reintroduced the narrowcast model." In addition, they state that Black Entertainment Television (received throughout the USA), and Telemundo (more globally received), are two examples of narrowcast television, even though the glossary defines narrowcast media as having "a limited range through which to reach audiences". I would hardly consider a globally received television network to have "limited range."

Another problem that I found was that there are no in text citations (aside from when a source is directly quoted). This would have been very useful in several instances, especially when I was unsure of the validity or accuracy of the information, or simply wished to further examine the subject. For example, on page 163, they state that "in Germany television was at first more frequently viewed collectively in public spaces. Television emerged during the era of Nazism as a nationalized industry that was used to forge a strong collective ideology. As such, it was a tool of mass persuasion". However, to the best of my knowledge (I may be wrong here...), television was not used in Germany until after World War II, and was only occasionally used (mostly during experiments with the new technology) throughout the world prior to and during the war.

Still, I found Sturken and Cartwright's book to be a rather good overview and introduction to visual culture and worth reading if you are interested in the subject, but do not know where to begin. ... Read more


12. The Media of Mass Communication 2003 Update
by John Vivian
list price: $80.80
our price: $80.80
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Asin: 0205377750
Catlog: Book (2002-07-22)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Sales Rank: 342234
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13. Manufacturing Consent : The Political Economy of the Mass Media
by EDWARD S. HERMAN, NOAM CHOMSKY
list price: $18.95
our price: $13.26
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Asin: 0375714499
Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
Publisher: Pantheon
Sales Rank: 4197
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.

Based on a series of case studies—including the media’s dichotomous treatment of “worthy” versus “unworthy” victims, “legitimizing” and “meaningless” Third World elections, and devastating critiques of media coverage of the U.S. wars against Indochina—Herman and Chomsky draw on decades of criticism and research to propose a Propaganda Model to explain the media’s behavior and performance. Their new introduction updates the Propaganda Model and the earlier case studies, and it discusses several other applications. These include the manner in which the media covered the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent Mexican financial meltdown of 1994-1995, the media’s handling of the protests against the World Trade Organization, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund in 1999 and 2000, and the media’s treatment of the chemical industry and its regulation. What emerges from this work is a powerful assessment of how propagandistic the U.S. mass media are, how they systematically fail to live up to their self-image as providers of the kind of information that people need to make sense of the world, and how we can understand their function in a radically new way.
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Reviews (58)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Common Person's Review (for the non-intellectual)
If you're looking for a very scholarly and academic review of this book thats laden with a bunch of big words, etc., read one of the other reviews.

This is for the interested kid or student or person inclined towards radical politics who maybe doesn't have a Phd degree, or who doesn't sit around discussing the scholarly implications of books for the sake of showing off their superior intellect.

First of all, don't be scaired by the 400 pages of the book. Its actually just barely above 300, with about 100 pages of appendixes and footnotes.

It is a very readable book for anyone who has at least a vague idea of recent world affairs (of the past 3 decades or so). And even if you don't have much familiarity, after finishing this book, you certainly will. Some parts may be a bit overwhelming, but they are few and far between.

The basic premise of the book is that the mainstream American corporate media (the big networks, the big newspapers, news magazines, etc)serve to uphold the interests of the elites in this country (political and economic). Chomsky and Herman acknowledge that we do have a "liberal" press, (what does it really mean to be 'liberal' in America today anyways?), but that the liberalness is kept within acceptable boundaries. Basically, the mainstream press may give a liberal slant on what the dominant institutions and systems are doing...but they will not question the very nature of the institutions and systems themselves.

For example, today's Los Angeles Times (January 6,2003) had a page 2 story on the U.N sanctions against Iraq. Now, the typical reader may see the story, and figure that since the LA Times is even reporting on the impact of sanctions against Iraqi civillians, this is demonstrative of their 'liberal' leanings. However, the story leaves untouched the most crucial issues regarding UN sanctions against Iraq, such as:
1)the U.S. and U.K. are the sole countries who sit on the UN Secutity Council who refuse to lift the sanctions against Iraq, despite the pleas of the other member nations (such as Russia, France, China, etc).
2)UN estimates have put the death toll from the sanctions at nearly one million civillians.
3)Two consecutive UN Humanitarian Coordinators have resigned in the past five years in protest of the effect of the sanctions, with the first stating "We are in the process of destroying an entire society."

Basically, the mainstream corporatized press will leave the most crucial questions unanswered, if they portray American power in a bad light.

The last chapter on Laos and Cambodia are a bit tedious and confusing, but by the time you get to that chapter, the previous ones will have more than made their case.

Overall, this is an excellent book, even for the non-academic, and will fundamentally alter the way you look at the media, and the 'facts' they are reporting.

5-0 out of 5 stars W/ Bible & A. Miller, this should be in every American home
"This book centers in what we call a "Propaganda Model", an analytical framework that attempts to explain the performance of the U.S. media in terms of the basic institutional structures and relationships within they operate. It is our view that, among their other functions, the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful social interests that control and finance them.... In our view the...underlying power sources that own the media and fund them as advertisers, that serve as primary definers of the news, and that produce flak and proper thinking experts, also play a key role in fixing basic principles and the dominant ideologies. We believe that what journalists do, what they see as newsworthy, and what they take for granted...are...well explained by the incentives, pressures, and constraints incorporated into such a structural analysis."

Noam Chomsky (MIT)
and Edward Herman (Wharton Business School)
MANUFACTURING CONSENT
From the Introduction

Next to the Bible, Joseph Campbell's THE POWER OF MYTH and FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, the seminal work of psychologist Alice Miller, every single American home should have this book. Perhaps to a greater extent than even much of the other work of Noam Chomsky, MANUFACTURING CONSENT reveals the irony of where a truly moral path leads in our world. Meaning, the religious/moral paradigms of Christian Conservatism, embraced in the inner world of personal integrity and "family values" and followed to their obvious conclusion--our outer world structured by commerce and international politics--leads one invariably to finding GOD somewhere on the left of America's political center; far and away from the Limbaugh-isms on the radio. Anything less is either cancerous cynicism or delusional hypocrisy.

Or both.

"'Genocide' is an invidious word that officials apply readily to cases of victimization in enemy states, but rarely if ever to similar or worse cases of victimization by the United States itself or allied regimes. Thus, with Saddam Hussein and Iraq having been U.S. targets in the 1990s, whereas Turkey has been an ally and client and the United States its major arms supplier as IT engaged in its severe ethnic cleansing of Kurds during those years, we find...Turkey's treatment of its Kurds was in no way less murderous than Iraq's treatment of Iraqi Kurds, but for (U.S. Ambassador) Peter Galbraith, Turkey only 'represses,' while Iraq engages in 'genocide.'"

From the Introduction (emphasis mine)

This 2002 edition of the 1980s MANUFACTURING CONSENT has a new introduction written by the authors that includes some important words about the current Administration and foreign policy, as well the power of the Internet to affect the Media's status quo. But lest you think the bulk of this work is dated, trust me; their analysis has only become more accurate with the Clinton and Bush Administrations. The writers don't need to add specific revelations about, say, Enron, the true cause of 9/11 and the current secret war in Afghanistan to prove their point.

(For example, see their comparative analysis of the painfully ironic relationship of the U.S. government with the Latin-American terrorist states Guatemala and El Salvador [we supported them militarily] and its adversarial relationship with the actual [though politically inconvenient] democracy Nicaragua during the Reagan years. Then compare this provable reality to the Media's Orwellian, fun-house mirror images and writings, as Chomsky and Herman show them to be. It is chilling. Through more than dozens of easily documented but heretofore underanalysed examples, the writers show how the dominant U.S. press (New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, etc.) so often becomes the propaganda tool of the U.S. government that only an analysis of this degree would help you to understand what must be its obvious actual function. This work, in fact, may be the only book that could prepare you or anyone well enough to read the revelations of investigative journalist Gary Webb in his book DARK ALLIANCE, the book that gives the full documented proof of the story that ironically ended his career in the 1990's: his discovery of the origins of America's Crack Cocaine era in "IranContra" and Reagan's CIA.)

What the book lacks can be seen as a product of its internationally political perspective. The raison d'etre of this book is indeed all but stated outright with its final chapters on Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam during and after the Vietnam War. (One could painfully envision Thomas Mann writing a similarly structured expose of the German media during World War Two, ending with documented proof of the otherwise hidden "final solution" for the Jews.) Through this they climactically prove, unquestionably, that the popular story of the Media's East-of-Eden break with Government & propaganda at this time in American history is, simply, a very useful myth. However, while Rachel Carson, Ralph Nader and several other consumer advocates over the 20th Century are mentioned by them in this introduction, the kind of "muckraking" examples you'd expect in that context, regarding the purposely unreported crimes of big business (like those of the chemical, fast food and oil industries)--despite their adverse affects on human health and American culture--are almost conspicuously missing from this work. I would suggest, as a companion book, INTO THE BUZZSAW by investigative journalist Christina Borjesson, with its powerful Introduction by Gore Vidal.

Just the same, I cannot imagine an honest critique of this book's contents that would not smack of a sincere desire (subconscious or otherwise) to be lied to, such that a primitive, cultish, cynically comfortable but inevitably destructive definition of American patriotism can have some illusion of moral validity. The opening chapters set you up so clearly and powerfully for their revealing of the U.S. supported holocaust of Indochina--again, displayed as final proof of their Propaganda Model's ubiquity--that you cannot help but walk away from this book with both an enlightened mind, and a broken heart.

Agree or disagree with this book's premise, after reading MANUFACTURING CONSENT you will not be able to read the newspaper or watch CNN with the same naiveté again. That alone makes it a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening
Is the media free? According to this book by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky, it is far from free. They argue that the media in America serves to promote the agenda of the elite class in American society. In other words, the media only provide one-sided news coverage. Their main point is that while the misdeeds of enemy nations are widely criticized, the misdeeds of America and American client states are rarely publicized. It's sad when Americans wonder why they are hated by those in other countries. They wonder because they simply don't know what's going on in the world in the name of the American people. The press refuses to print it, not due to any direct control by the government, but because those who control the halls of power are a small elite, and the chiefs of media are a part of that small circle. They have the same boss--multinational corporations.

Let's look at one the examples from the book--Central America in the 80's. During this period, the media spent a lot of time demonizing the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. Herman and Chomsky claim this focus was hypocritical considering the conditions in nearby El Salvador and Guatemala, both ruled by American-supported military governments. In these American client states, there were government-controlled death squads which terrorized and killed political opponents in a bloodbath beyond imagining. If you were going to start labelling terror states, these two states at the time would have been at the top of the list. However, the coverage of these atrocities was weak because it's easy to do business with a tightly-ontrolled military government. On the other hand, Nicaragua, with a type of communist government, was difficult to do business with, so we get lots of negative reports about Nicaragua even though the level of violence wasn't anywhere near the level of violence in the American client states, and if you didn't notice, the majority of violence against Nicaraguan citizens was committed by American backed Contras. So much for America's support of liberty and freedom across the globe. I guess the freedom that really matters is the freedom to grow cheap bananas for the world's supermarkets.

As an American citizen myself, I'm worried about such media propoganda leading us down the wrong road. For example, if the media had bothered to do its job before the Iraq War, they would have done a little more investigation inot the Bush administration's bogus WMD claims and its close ties with the oil industry. We would have saved a lot of American and Iraqi lives. I recommend reading this book so that you can see what is really going on with the coverage of the American government's activities overseas. Don't let a few bad men ruin our international reputation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Critique of Economic Media
Ever since the term 'ideology' appears in the wake of the French Revolution its implications have haunted modernity (although an equal case could be made that it springs from the beginnings of civilization and/or religion, consider Constatantine's manufacture of consent), on the left as much as on the right. This book superbly carries the discussion into the present with its acute Propaganda Model and case studies thereof. The law of propaganda is too transparent in the totalitarian legacy, and leaves one unsuspecting of the subtler forms of media manipulation alive and well in the economy of late capitalism.
But it might also help to consider the legacy of leftist manufacture of consent, and before that the Hegelian candidate as it courted the Prussian world of the Restoration, leading into the stand up/sit down dialectic over ideology in the generation of Marx, at once exposing capitalist mystification, then crystallizing into 'late Hegelian' economism. The issue is important since the left is too often mesmerized by the remaining bits and pieces of the Second Internationale 'ideology' that so cleverly animated the 'myth' of Marxism. This legacy tends inject cliched sloganeering into social commentary, making it useless to progressives, and preempting clear commentary. In fact the discourse of Chomsky is well aware of this effect and successfully revives the essential critiques of the Left Hegelian era in a practical form.
The book has a fascinating bit on the early leftist print media of the early nineteenth century, a thriving industry, that slowly but surely succumbed to the new model of free market journalism. And it is interesting that(as pointed out in Desmond and Moore's bio of Darwin)that these newspapers were hot on 'evolution' in its radical phase. Then, of course, the estab Darwin came along and 'fixed' the idea of evolution with his ideological selectionism and Social Darwinism, and the greatest episode of 'manufactured consent' began in the field of biology. The problem is that they manufactured the consent of the left here, and by the time of Engels and after the confusions of theory and ideology were built into Marxism. Chomsky is (or was) one of the few Darwin critics left, let's hope they don't manufacture his consent here.
Great book.

4-0 out of 5 stars ignore the title, read the book
The title and subtitle are misleading: this is not a book about the impact of media on the public or about the internal structures of the media. The first chapter does lay out a compelling but sketchy structural model explaining how an ostensibly free media could produce coverage so uncritically supportive of the government, but Chomsky and Herman focus most of their attention on proving that the media really are serving as the government's propaganda arm.

They confine their analysis to foreign policy, and the evidence they offer is devastating. Particularly strong are chapters 2-3, which use quantitative data to compare the media coverage given to U.S. government enemy states and allied states. In chapter 2, a single state-sponsored murder in Soviet-client Poland is set against 100 state-sponsored murders in America's Central American client states in the 1980s. Surveying coverage in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and CBS News, those 100 murders combined consistently received less - and much less sympathetic or indignant - coverage than the one murder in Poland. Chapter 3 compares coverage of sham elections in the (U.S.-supplied) military terror states of Guatemala and El Salvador with that of flawed but generally democratic elections in official enemy Nicaragua. The broadly favorable and optimistic tone of reporting on elections staged by U.S.-supported death squad dictators provides a shocking contrast to the overwhelmingly critical (often polemical) approach to the more free and fair Nicaraguan elections.

While these two chapters are written in a style of scholarly detachment with quantitative data to back up the qualitative analysis, the rest of the book is much more a polemic against U.S. foreign policy and media complicity with it. Reflexively pro-American readers are likely to be too alienated by the style to get anything out of it, but for those convinced by the evidence in chapters 2-3, Chomsky and Herman's analysis of the U.S. wars against Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos will prove highly educational.

The updated edition contains a long preface demonstrating the continuing propaganda function of the media by reviewing coverage of events since the first edition came out in 1988. Particularly revealing is the contrast between heavy negative coverage given to Slobodan Milosevic's atrocities against the Kosovars and the perfunctory media attention to Turkey's very similar - but U.S.-funded - atrocities against the Kurds.

As Chomsky and Herman show, the media only become critical of the government when some elite constituency like business or the Democrats speak out. And even then, criticism is tactical rather than fundamental. This was vividly demonstrated in the debate leading up the Iraq invasion, when the media allowed plenty of voices warning that American interests could in some way be damaged, but none that condemned war itself as immoral or that questioned the U.S. right to dominate other nations. As Chomsky and Herman make clear, this happens not as the result of any sort of conspiracy, but through the natural operation of indoctrination within media institutions and the structural constraints (e.g. relying almost exclusively on government officials as sources) on news gathering. That a free society could produce a deeply subservient media is perhaps the most disturbing conclusion of all. ... Read more


14. The Rise of the Network Society
by Manuel Castells
list price: $27.95
our price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0631221409
Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Sales Rank: 44608
Average Customer Review: 3.42 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Contents include the information technology revolution, the new economy, the network enterprise, the transformation of work and employment, the culture of real virtuality, the space of flows, and more. Reprint. Previous edition: c1999. Softcover. DLC: Information technology--Economic aspects. ... Read more

Reviews (12)

2-0 out of 5 stars What a great book this could have been...
The Rise of the Network Society was on my reading list for school -- and I was looking forward to reading it, not only in the context of my class, but because the subject is an important one, especially regarding the distribution of information and knowledge in our society. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed to find that Castells, with all his remarkable insight into the arts of communication, has not been able to go beyond the oh-so cumbersome turns of phrase typical of academic writing. I find myself turned off by the lingo, where I am truly interested in the subject; I resent having to plow my way through his phraseology, while I certainly do appreciate the research and energy he has invested in his work. There seems to be an ideal to academic writing that somewhat opposes the general trend of having knowledge and information made accessible to everyone. Or is it that Castells really means to restrict his writing (and being read) to the groves of Academe? If proving himself versed in the field is more important than getting the information out there, what does he have to teach us about the implications of a network society? That we should better cling to our own in-group, to only those who speak our language, whatever that is? If that is so, what change can we expect from being related through networks? If Castells intends to put into practice his belief that *observing, analyzing, and theorizing is a way of helping to build a different, better world* (p. 4), then he might as well start with generously offering his insights to the world he wants to see changed.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Polymath Desperately in Need of Focus
Given Castells' huge range of understanding and the sheer ambition of his work, it seems a bit unfair to really criticize this book. Few writers would try to tackle the huge ideas that Castells covers here - vast theories about the state and direction of humanity in relation to the rising information society. On the other hand, theory-of-everything books like this, as frequently attempted by polymaths such as Fritjof Capra, have their own unavoidable problems which deserve to be criticized. When a theorist tries to combine knowledge of everything into a huge integrated and unified theory, the writing becomes monstrously diffuse and unfocused. That is the exact problem with this book.

Castells obviously has an understanding of all the disparate theoretical areas that would be encompassed by such a huge endeavor. As the book progresses, Castells is not afraid to move from areas like astrophysics to rural sociology to corporate architecture to programming language to everything else you could think of, often in successive paragraphs. But when describing everything, Castells eventually reaches conclusions on nothing. Bringing together disparate realms of knowledge is one thing, but reaching insights that make sense is much more difficult.

That all makes this book extremely tiresome for the reader. In that exasperating theory-of-everything fashion, Castells can't stop piling on new terminology like real virtuality, technopoles, or milieux of information (terms created by himself or others) that merely illustrate the smashing together of ideas, rather than synthesis. And whenever it's time for an awe-inspiring insight, Castells can only come up with supposedly deep (usually in italics for significance) pontifications like "space is crystallized time" or "a place is a locale whose form...[is] self-contained within the boundaries of physical contiguity." These are indications of Castells' writing style - never-ending collections of disconnected pieces of data, topped off by windy pronouncements. After so many intensive build-ups, Castells can come up with little for the reader to really chew on.

And get this man an editor, please. Extremely long paragraphs, some more than two entire pages long, illustrate a real lack of control in the writing department. Castells also has the habit of endlessly qualifying his ideas by explaining what he's NOT going to talk about and why he decided to cover what he IS talking about, to the extent that he almost forgets to make his points at all (see the early portions of chapter 4 for a good example of this). And to think that this 500+ page monster is merely the first book in a trilogy on this subject. Castells deserves credit as a polymath with huge interests and ideas. But he is sorely lacking in focus, and effective writing skills. [~doomsdayer520~]

4-0 out of 5 stars The Rise of Network Society
The Rise of Network Society brings up many important issues regarding globalization and what Manuel Castells calls the network society. He argues that the technological revolution that began in the late 70s in Silicon Valley has had a profound impact on all aspects of society. The changes, he argues are most apparent in the new relationships between the economy, state and society that have been formed. He suggests that an increase in the flexibility of management, a decentralization of production and an increased reliance on networking has caused many of the immediate changes taking place. Castells suggests that it is through the decline in the labor movement and the devaluing of the laborers that capital has become an increasingly powerful network. This, he suggests has caused networks such as labor, criminal or mafia groups, and financial markets to be realized on a global rather than local scale. By looking at how new relationships and identities are being conceived of in what he calls the informational age, Castells is able to theorize about the ways in which technology and information have will continue to transform society.
Castells suggests that as distances between places become shorter, time will also be changed. Technologies such as the internet, television and computers have decreased the space between different parts of the world to such an extent that we now have the capabilities to process information in real time. The fragmentation of the local community has led to an increasing reliance on global community organizations or the "net". People can now keep in touch with friends, date and divorce over the internet. This has caused for the increased attention on identity issues, since as Castells suggests, identity has and will continue to be an, or the fundamental aspect of meaning. Identity has been transformed from something you do to what you believe you are. Ideas about the self have become reliant upon global media and technological networks, rather than family and community. The increased reliance on social networks for identity purposes has caused identity to be vulnerable to network shutdowns. With the growing level networks and nodes for transmitting information and imaginations, people are beginning to claim increasingly specific identities that are difficult to share with others, which is sometimes related to the resurgence of xenophobia.
According to Castells, the current social changes that are taking place are due to the technological and informational transformations. Although he plainly negates technological determinism, it seems he infers something similar. He suggests that the information technology revolution that began in the late 20th century is what reshaped capitalism into what he calls "informational capitalism". Informationalism is what he believes has caused the new technological and material basis of the economy and thusly society. He distinguishes between capitalist restructuring and the rise of informationalism, but insures that they are inseparably related.
Castells' network society is based on the assumption that "development" is determined by productivity and productivity is determined by the number of consumable goods that are created with labor and matter. Since technology is what allows for matter and labor to produce consumable goods and add to the growth and development of a region, technology becomes the determining factor of a regions ability to "progress". The more technology a region is able to produce, the increased quantity and quality of products they will be able to manufacture, and the more surplus they will inherit.
Through the globalization of the production and consumption of goods, the energies going into the process have become decentralized and fragmented. This is what Castells suggests is a major factor in the uneven development of differing regions. Since productivity and development depend on symbolic communication, information processing and a technological skill, information and technology become the crucial factors in a developed society. From this, he is able to suggest that the new mode of development is informational. Rather than conforming post-industrialism as a way to describe the current period, Castells argues for what he calls informationalism. He suggests rather than being concerned with economic growth or marketing output as the industrialism was, the informationalism era is primarily concerned with technological development. Increased technological development is clearly expected to take place via increased knowledge.
Castells argues that the government or state is one of the primary motivators of technological progress. He uses Russia as an example of how stasis can cause a lack of technological development and therefore a lack of overall development. He suggests that during the 1980s, capitalism went through a restructuring that produced what he calls, "informational capitalism". He shows how the new capitalism has moved beyond the boundaries and space and time to incorporate a global economy based on technology and knowledge. Castells shows how The Rise of Network Society is based technological innovations and knowledge.

4-0 out of 5 stars Is information technology the culprit?
Many of the observations Prof. Catells made are valid, however the connection between information technology and the social problems are not very strong. The network states, global criminal society, wealth disparity, etc. are more or less the byproduct of globalization.

Yes, information technology accelerates the rate of globalization. But would those social problems exist without information technology? Mostly likely yes. These phenomena are not new, they predate the advent of the Information Age (the World Wide Web and mass adoption of internet is a post-1990 phenomenon). Multinatioal organizations (or globalization) have been around for many decades, same goes for the North-South polical economic paradigm. So, attributing all these social problems to the Information Age (at least that is the impression I got out of it) is a jump and may not be an accurate representation. Information capitalism is just another term for globalization.

Nonetheless, his trilogy does demonstrate the acute problem of a global digital divide, and he suggested some possible solutions in some of his other books.

4-0 out of 5 stars Network society: Informationalization and globalization
This is the first volume of Manuel Castells¡¯ ¡®Informational Age¡¯. The trilogy of ¡®Informational Age¡¯ is the de facto classic in the sociology of information. This volume focuses mainly on the economic feature of the network society: informationalization and globalization; the transformation of the enterprise; the flexibility in labor market; interactive media; transformation of space (or, in Giddens¡¯ term, time-space distanciation).
You might ask ¡®what¡¯s the relevance to sociology?¡¯ Naturally, it¡¯s related to question, ¡®what¡¯s the substance of sociology of information?¡¯ Our day to day life can¡¯t clearly be distinguished from the economic affairs. Almost all the resources, whether they are material or human, appear as commodity or service which are tradable. Even the culture is organized on the market. Our identity and daily time table are deeply molded by our spot in the labor market. And that, the overall dynamics of social change comes from the economy. The epochal trends, such as globalization, informationalization, have been driven mainly by the economic needs. So the network society can¡¯t be grasped without the economics. But you should not conclude that the economics is the whole story. The market alone can¡¯t sustained even itself, not to say the whole society. The economy is embedded in the society. The economy and the society are intertwined with each other, but not determined by one another. So their relation could be called as the ¡®interaction¡¯. But when it comes to IT, the things are more complicated. IT can¡¯t act by in itself. IT is the resource to be mobilized by bodily actor. IT represents the epochal change in the environment. IT is not the variable in itself. Therefore we could say that the sociology of information is about the interaction between IT, economy and society. The argument of the field is like this: our activities are increasingly organized around networks. Networks have existed throughout the human history. But IT offers unprecedently elevated material basis. It allows the network pervasively to expand throughout the entire society and the globe. Over decades, we have observed sea change related to IT in economy, politics, and society. Those shifts are the object of the sociology of information.
Castells¡¯ trilogy is about that sea change. As I said above, the first volume focuses on economic features. But Castells¡¯ work has some peculiar cast. Castells¡¯ characterizing informational society as network society makes the globalization be coalesced with informationalization. For this reason, some commentators classify Castells as a theorist of globalization. In fact, this and the second volume of the trilogy could be read as great illustration of globalization. It seems that Castells assumes that informationalization could be distinguished from globalization only on the analytical rationale. So he characterizes informational age as the network society. The term could be applied to both trends.
Before closing the review, I should warn you that if you expect the firm theoretical founding, you should read first Castells¡¯ ¡®Information City¡¯, as I mentioned in the review of the author¡¯s another book, ¡®The Internet Galaxy¡¯. For example, Castells coined the term of ¡®the mode of development¡¯ to periodize the informational age. It¡¯s not a new mode of production like the capitalism, but a new mode of development which is different from industrialism or Fordism. But anywhere is the trilogy, you can¡¯t find such a theorizing. Without that kind of founding, the trilogy can¡¯t avoid being read as interesting but bulky sketching out the current affairs. ... Read more


15. Give Me a Break : How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media...
by John Stossel
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
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Asin: 0060529148
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Sales Rank: 1294
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Ballooning government?
Millionaire welfare queens?
Tort lawyers run amok?
A $330,000 outhouse, paid for with your tax dollars?
John Stossel says, "Give me a break."

When he hit the airwaves thirty years ago, Stossel helped create a whole new category of news, dedicated to protecting and informing consumers. As a crusading reporter, he chased snake-oil peddlers, rip-off artists, and corporate thieves, winning the applause of his peers.

But along the way, he noticed that there was something far more troublesome going on: While the networks screamed about the dangers of exploding BIC lighters and coffeepots, worse risks were ignored. And while reporters were teaming up with lawyers and legislators to stick it to big business, they seldom reported the ways the free market made life better.

In Give Me a Break, Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market.

He traces his journey from cub reporter to 20/20 co-anchor, revealing his battles to get his ideas to the public, his struggle to overcome stuttering, and his eventual realization that, for years, much of his reporting missed the point.

Stossel concludes the book with a provocative blueprint for change: a simple plan in the spirit of the Founding Fathers to ensure that America remains a place "where free minds -- and free markets -- make good things happen."

... Read more

Reviews (123)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing, a real life clear thinking journalist!
No doubt that the liberals and socialists in this country will name call and rant and rave over this book. Mr. Stossel attacks large government programs for the waste that they are, and the liberals depend upon these programs to control the lives of people. I'm sure he'll be called a racist, right-wing nut, but let's not forget who's calling him these things.

Stossel takes an objective look at not only big government programs, but the limiting of free speech, the drug war, lawyers, and some hypocritical filty rich. How anybody can say Stossel is a neo-con after reading this book is either a moron or a liar in saying they've read this. Stossel advocates stopping the drug war, decriminalizing prostitution, and legalizing assisted suicide, hardly a Republican agenda. He rightly recognizes that you own your body, not the government, therefore they should not have the power to control what you do to it. Certainly a libertarian position.

However, that same intrusive government that shouldn't tell you what to do with your own body shouldn't be telling companies how to run their business. He demonstrates how government programs, rules and regulations on a whole kill more people than they save. Poverty kills, and rules and regulations cause companies to move offshore and fire workers where jobs are needed most. Is it any wonder that, as he showed, the more free the country, the better off it's population is?

5-0 out of 5 stars Give Me A Case of These Books: Everyone Should Have One
In the same relaxed style that has made his Friday night 20/20 broadcasts "must see TV" for open-minded Americans, interested more in truth than partisan politics, ABC co-anchor John Stossel delivers a book every citizen should read.
Far from partisan, Give Me A Break leaves no sacred political cows untipped as Democrats and Republicans alike are toppled to the ground in this truly remarkable breath of fresh air. In breezy, easy-to-read prose, Stossel recounts example after example of how a risk-phobic, nanny government threatens to strangle the very creativity and innovation that have made America the envy of the world.
Here you'll read about the $300,000 outhouse you paid for, the victim industries that profit from the misery of others, why trial attorneys and their lawsuits are more than a nuissance, among other hot topics.
Give Me A Break is somewhat predictable (but no less valuable) if you consider Stossel's libertarian bent. However, what is truly admirable -- not to mention, radically bullet-proof- about his writing is his willingness to not only admit to errors, but to recount them in detail. Instead of giving his detractors ammunition to blow up his arguments, Stossel freely admits to his short comings and past mistakes and explains forthrightly where his thinking went terribly wrong.
While I am not completely convinced that trial lawyers are the devils of democracy, reading this book opened up the subject for me as none of the regular broadcast or cable journalists ever have. Give Me A Break is a highly recommended book by a heroic journalist. -- Regina McMenamin

5-0 out of 5 stars A tour de force of intellectual honesty
John Stossel is one of the few reporters to emerge from the stupor of mindless media liberalism to rational observation. In many respects 'Give Me A Break' is a textbook on systems thinking. Stossel destroys a multitude of liberal and conservative paradigms by demonstrating the second and third order consequences of self-serving governmental, social and economic positions. Stossel understands, like few others in the media, that there are trade-offs, and often-unintended consequences, with every decision. Stossel's book is balanced, humorous and irreverent; it relentlessly unmasks the uncomfortable realities underlying the massive clouds blue smoke generated by special interest groups. If you are looking for a great read that will expand your understanding of contemporary social issues, then by all means purchase this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This is a well written book that explains the media's liberal bias as well as tells how the news media distorts the truth to get a big story. This is a must read for anyone that watches the news.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
One of my favorite reads. Very interesting and enjoyable. A lot of common sense... I agree with 99% of what he says. Highly recommended. ... Read more


16. We the Media
by Dan Gillmor
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
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Asin: 0596007337
Catlog: Book (2004-08)
Publisher: O'Reilly
Sales Rank: 11803
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Book Description

Grassroots journalists are dismantling Big Media's monopoly on the news, transforming it from a lecture to a conversation. Not content to accept the news as reported, these readers-turned-reporters are publishing in real time to a worldwide audience via the Internet. The impact of their work is just beginning to be felt by professional journalists and the newsmakers they cover. In We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, nationally known business and technology columnist Dan Gillmor tells the story of this emerging phenomenon, and sheds light on this deep shift in how we make and consume the news.We the Media is essential reading for all participants in the news cycle:

  • Consumers learn how they can become producers of the news. Gillmor lays out the tools of the grassroots journalist's trade, including personal Web journals (called weblogs or blogs), Internet chat groups, email, and cell phones. He also illustrates how, in this age of media consolidation and diminished reporting, toroll your ownnews, drawing from the array of sources available online and even over the phone.
  • Newsmakers politicians, business executives, celebrities get a wake-up call. The control that newsmakers enjoyed in the top-down world of Big Media is seriously undermined in the Internet Age. Gillmor shows newsmakers how to successfully play by the new rules and shift fromcontrolto engagement.
  • Journalists discover that the new grassroots journalism presents opportunity as well as challenge to their profession. One of the first mainstream journalists to have a blog, Gillmor says,"My readers know more than I do, and that's a good thing."In We the Media, he makes the case to his colleagues that, in the face of a plethora of Internet-fueled news vehicles, they must change or become irrelevant.
At its core, We the Media is a book about people. People like Glenn Reynolds, a law professor whose blog postings on the intersection of technology and liberty garnered him enough readers and influence that he became a source for professional journalists. Or Ben Chandler, whose upset Congressional victory was fueled by contributions that came in response to ads on a handful of political blogs.Or Iraqi blogger Zayed, whose Healing Irag blog (healingiraq.blogspot.com) scooped Big Media. Oracridrabbit, who inspired an online community to become investigative reporters and discover that the dying Kaycee Nichols sad tale was a hoax. Give the people tools to make the news, We the Media asserts, and they will. Journalism in the 21st century will be fundamentally different from the Big Media that prevails today. We the Media casts light on the future of journalism, and invites us all to be part of it. ... Read more

17. Arrogance: Rescuing America From the Media Elite
by Bernard Goldberg
list price: $26.95
our price: $16.98
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Asin: 044653191X
Catlog: Book (2003-11)
Publisher: Warner Books
Sales Rank: 1638
Average Customer Review: 3.58 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Bias exposes the culture of narrow-minded elitism in the media--and reveals what must be done to change it.In December of 2001, Emmy Award-winning journalist Bernard Goldberg charged the mainstream media with slanting the news and created a firestorm with his controversial bestseller Bias. Now Goldberg goes beyond identifying the media's partiality and explains how the slanting of the news is all but inevitable in the current climate--and why the media's stars continue to deny the industry's condition. In this fascinating report, Goldberg lays out his rallying cry, unafraid to name names, and prescribes the difficult remedies that must take place if genuinely balanced news is to survive. ... Read more

Reviews (99)

4-0 out of 5 stars great follow-up to Bias; constructive criticism
While some of the skewering is sometimes entertaining, this would have been a pale follow-up to Bias if it hadn't been for one signicant component to this new book: it spends a good bit of time pointing out potential (and reasonable) resolutions to the obvious problem. This shows that Goldberg actually cares for his trade. There is more than "skewering" going on here. The author appears to sincerely care about his craft. (And Mr. Shaw, if you or your publisher happen to be reading these reviews, I appreciate your recommending Indianapolis as a new HQ for the newsmedia. I've found that our city's people have a pretty representative view of the country. Even though Indiana is a "red state", the city itself has liberals and conservatives in pretty good balance.)

Goldberg also alludes to another problem with the news media (of which he says is another topic): their typical avoidance of balanced and ORIGINAL coverage of actual "news"...and replacing it with so-called "personal interest" stories. I could learn to live with some bias in the news if I actually got news, actual compelling information for my life, instead of the blah, blah, blah Britney, Lacy, Menendez Brothers posing as news. Goldberg should write another in depth analysis of how the news has been hijacked by what he rightly referred to in this book as "crap". The chapter in this book which amounts to a two-quotation juxtaposition by Barbara Walters is as entertaining as it is revealing. When I first read that "chapter", I thought it was just a stab at Walters -- an easy mark. I had to read it twice and put it into the context of the whole book to really let the point of that chapter hit home in the form that it was offered.

Well done.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bias Part II: This Time It's Personal!
Long ago, William F. Buckley asserted that liberals claim to want to give an airing to "other views", but are then shocked and appalled that there _are_ other views. More recently, Jonah Goldberg said that the word "conservative" in the news media has contracted to simply mean the position you the reader are meant to disapprove of. Both quotes could serve as epigraphs for _Arrogance_.

This book is billed as a prescription for remedies of liberal media bias. It is not. It is a second helping of exposure of journalistic malfeasance on the part of the New York Times and the big three networks. What pointers Goldberg does offer come toward the end, and even then are merely hooks upon which to hang more indictments. It's clear that the publishers, who may be liberal themselves but aren't allergic to the profits a sequel to a conservative bestseller would bring, wanted Goldberg to serve up lots more of the same. In one of her books Ann Coulter noted how reviewers had for years and years referred to popular conservative books as "surprise bestsellers." A surprise to who? Not to Warner Books anymore, not with the bills to pay on that Time-Warner merger with AOL!

To liberals, Bernard Goldberg may be a traitor, but the attempts by some of them to paint him as a hack or a phony have fallen flat. You have to be very good to stay on at the the major networks for nearly thirty years, as Goldberg did. The efforts to smear him merely give more credence to his charge of herd mentality.

It's an important distinction that Goldberg insists on: there is no secret liberal media NKVD, keeping everyone in line. Rather, it's a case of "birds of a feather flock together". Regardless of how educated or smart or possessed of goodwill people may be, they are still taken aback, at least momentarily, if it slips out that one of their number does not share their worldview. Now replace the set of educated, smart people of goodwill with self-impressed, arrogant products of politically correct Blue State journalism schools, and you can see the trouble coming a mile off.

Goldberg goes easy on the statistics and heavy on the dismaying anecdotes. Indeed, if some people continue to dismiss his work as "anecdotal", you can be sure that that means they are nervous that the peasants might be listening. His chapters are arranged thematically: race, feminism, sports, etc. His tone is a rather yammery blend of sarcasm and incredulity, but the sympathetic reader can take this as proof of how outraged he is over how far his profession's standards have fallen. Frequently, he pauses in his description of how a particular story was misreported, to distance himself from the issue or the principals. His only goal is improving journalism, he says, not joining the right-wing media watchdogs. (Though truth to tell, another watchdog of Goldberg's experience and savvy surely wouldn't hurt.)

The book appeared before a couple of recent media feeding frenzies, which would have fit right in. As I write, the national press corps is running Democratic National Committee talking points as breaking news, making a story out of the quality of President Bush's denials of decades-old and still unproven allegations of being AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. At the same time they are stonewalling for the moment allegations of infidelity on the part of the current Democrat frontrunner. In the internet age, it won't work. Denial is just a river in Egypt, thanks to the internet--and Bernard Goldberg.

5-0 out of 5 stars Confirms Everything I Already Knew About The Liberal Media
Bernie Goldberg's book already confirms everything I knew about the liberal media. But what he did is give us all a behind-the-scenes look at the left and why they want to slant certain stories to their liking and just how far they will go to do it. I never take the Network News at their word and now I am ten-times more skeptical that anything they say is the truth.

Kudos to Bernie Goldberg for an excellent book that needed to be written.

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting read....
An interesting read, if only to get some insight on the true personalities of the talking heads you see on your TV screen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bias, redux


I have read and reviewed Bernard Goldberg's other book, Bias (New York Times best seller, although the media elite tried their best to ignore it, and when that failed, to use their usual tactic of attacking the author's parentage, credentials, intelligence and veracity). I have just finished this one as well. I recommend it to you.

They should have listened: the rest of the country did. In fact, Mr Goldberg found credibility with his audience, judging from sales of the book. He was saying things that people already believed, like Rush Limbaugh when he first started, that the people knew already and were simply waiting for someone to say out loud. Things that were obvious, and everyone wondered at the denials and pretense of objectivity that accompanied the lies and propaganda we were being fed on a daily basis by the lockstep media who seemed to find it necessary to blame America first, and do everything possible to build up socialism and destroy our conservative valuie system. They've accomplished quite a bit of their agenda, too. They have persuaded many; especially the airheads in Hollywood.

Finally, we were hearing voices in the wilderness "telling it like it is," and the liberals hated it, judging by their screams of rage. The current effort, for example, is to get Limbaugh taken off Armed Forces radio, where he is heard only because our servicemen requested him in such numbers in a write-in campaign that even the Clinton administration was forced to give him a voice, despite their hatred of him.

After all, the first amendment guarantees free speech--especially political speech--which forbids government censorship in our free society. It also guiarantees our right to keep and bear arms. Hah! The Constitution that protects our Bill of Rights, and that all members of the Congress must swear to protect and defend is undefended. They have forsworn themselves, and deny us our freedoms with every word they utter.

Bernie Goldberg spent decades as a TV reporter. He is widely respected, especially now that he has brought our attention to the fact that the emperor is naked.

This book, a follow-up on Bias, is full of facts, names, places, inside anecdotes, and a glimpse of the real world of television newsrooms--where the "objectivity" of Dan Rather and the rest of the "talking heads" on the major networks, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and the other "elite" media is demonstrably phony.

No wonder the American people have lost their confidence in the main sources of most of our "news". We have gotten wise to them. We have other, alternative sources. Like China about the time of the Tiananmen Square incident in Beijing, we get the news through fax machines and the internet, if nothing else. We are no longer fed their propaganda. They are losing their audience, while that of the Fox Network, Washington Times, and magazines like National Review are gaining a stronger voice.

This is a good book, by a veteran newsman who has been sickened by what he saw, and in telling his story has incurred the wrath of his erstwhile colleagues--evcen their hatred. They see him as a traitor. Some privately have told him that he's right, but that they can't agree publicly.

You don't believe me? Read the book. You probably won't believe him, either, if you consider yourself a political liberal, or of you hate the President, or think your country is a "bully" and has brought all of the terrorism on ourselves, as many have said. But, if that describes you, we'd be better off without such "patriots" defending us. With such friends, who needs enemies.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre, USN (Ret)

... Read more


18. The Elements of Journalism : What Newspeople Should Know and The Public Should Expect
by BILL KOVACH, TOM ROSENSTIEL
list price: $12.95
our price: $10.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0609806912
Catlog: Book (2001-12)
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Sales Rank: 15276
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Book That Every Citizen and Journalist Should Read

“What this book does better than any single book on media history, ethics, or practice is
weave . . . [together] why media audiences have fled and why new technology and megacorporate ownership are putting good journalism at risk.” —Rasmi Simhan, Boston Globe

“Kovach and Rosenstiel’s essays on each [element] are concise gems, filled with insights worthy of becoming axiomatic. . . . The book should become essential reading for journalism professionals and students and for the citizens they aim to serve.” —Carl Sessions Stepp, American Journalism Review

“If you think journalists have no idea what you want . . . here is a book that agrees with you. Better—it has solutions. The Elements of Journalism is written for journalists, but any citizen who wonders why the news seems trivial or uninspiring should read it.” —Marta Salij, Detroit Free Press


The elements of journalism are:
* Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth.
* Its first loyalty is to citizens.
* Its essence is a discipline of verification.
* Its practitioners must maintain an independence from those they cover.
* It must serve as an independent monitor of power.
* It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise.
* It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant.
* It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional.
* Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Journalism's New Manifesto - Hold all Newspeople to it!
If you are a reporter, an editor, a source, a media-critic or just want to be more informed about the people informing you -- buy this slim little treasure trove of clear, well-written prose.

It is remarkable for its honest portrait of American journalism circa the New Millenium. It is designed to be a primer for citizens, journalists and journalism students in the issues surrounding:

1)Ethics
2)Commercial Pressures
3)Techniques
4)The Future

And unlike most media-critic books, this one doesn't have a political chip on its shoulder. Nor does it take an arrogant tone, despite it's axiomatic nature (to paraphrase Carl Sessions Stepp).

It's actually a pretty humble assesment by two people who care a lot about journalism.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear explanation of the purpose of journalism
Did you ever give much thought to the "unbiased" nature of journalism? Or about "balanced coverage" in articles and newscasts? Well, Kovach and Rosenstiel certainly have -- and their thoughts on these concepts are nothing short of revolutionary.

1. The authors argue that by nature, journalists are biased -- and that this is ok.

2. They also claim that "balanced coverage" is unfair, and should not be a goal of journalism.

Sounds crazy, right? At first blush, yes; but by clearly delineating what journalists SHOULD do, the authors make a strong argument that "bias" and "balance" are misused terms that ought to be discarded.

For example, they say that requiring journalists to be unbiased is unnatural, for bias is part of human nature -- and professional journalists should not be required to forget who they are. Instead, journalists should maintain an *independence* from those they cover, so that they are not unduly influenced by people they interview -- even if they do agree with them.

Likewise, they argue that "balance" should not be a tenet of journalism, because not all voices deserve equal time. The authors instead suggest keeping the news "comprehensive and proportional," so that the time allotted to various parties in an issue is proportional to their role or importance in that issue.

And so, perhaps Kovach and Rosenstiel aren't so crazy, after all. In fact, the book is full of sensible arguments like these, making it a fascinating read; what I've discussed here is only the tip of the iceberg.

I highly recommend it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and thought-provoking
The project of Kovach and Rosenstiel (indeed, the project of the entire Committee of Concerned Journalists) was to distill and publish the basic building blocks of what we understand as journalism. In this, they do an admirable job. Stressing qualities such as fairness to the facts and activities such as verification, they make a strong case that while the journalist may not be impartial his/her method should be.

Useful for both public and professionals, the book is well-structured with notes at the end of each chapter with pointers to further reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Something is Missing
Although this book always recurs to the purpose of journalism: i.e. to inform the public, it always does it narrowly, in the light of the need for an informed public to support the democratic form of government. I couldn't agree more that the recent course of history suggests that mankind is tending toward recognition of the fact that the only legitimate form of government is based on the consent of the governed.

But there is a higher object of information: Survival of the Race. It is obvious that if we survive by adaptation (natural selection resulting in survival of the fittest) that accurate information is indispensable. It was my feeling for many years that communism in the USSR was doomed since every child, biologically programmed to use information to survive, was born an enemy of the state. Furthermore, the USSR always thought it was perfect, so why evolve when we are already perfect?

One can see where that took them.

In view of this I sense that our two authors of this book would greatly profit by reading and heeding THE LUCIFER PRINCIPLE and GLOBAL BRAIN, both by Howard Bloom before revising their book if they ever do. Both books make the real challenge obvious. Survival of the race.

I applaud the recognition of the authors of the fact that persons of less than desirable integrity give the press its current bad name. I've encountered enough of them myself, having had moles sicced on me by what amount to impostors, both so-called journalists, but in view of the fact that the result was my photo occupying the entire front page of a wide circulation "rag" in full color, I had no objections. As John Barrymore said to the Press, "Just spell my name right, boys."

I write books. Name identification sells them and it hardly matters what we are identified for.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an ounce of public spirit. It is long overdue for the pracitioners of the trade to start policing their business better.

After occupying the moral high ground with this pair of authors, however, for the jaded reader who is exhausted with the prospect of the monumental task, I recommend the work of another journalist: Ben Hecht. His CHILD OF THE CENTURY may not recount the highest form of journalistic integrity, just the opposite occasionally, but who can help but roar over a headline of his spicy journal covering the rape of a patient by a dentist?: "DENTIST FILLS WRONG CAVITY!"

Go it, boys!

5-0 out of 5 stars An important new resource for journalist and consumers of ne
After researching the problems in modern journalism, Kovach and Rosenstiel got the input of journalists and others around the country on the crucial question of how to rediscover and rearticulate the essence of journalists' craft and the role of journalists in society. That is the inspiration and the subject of the book. But this is much more than a rulebook for journalists -- it also explores the critical relationship between those who cover the news and those of us who are consumers of the news. It is serious stuff. It is also exceptionally well-written, fascinating and important. For anyone concerned about the way the news is made and interested in a thoughtful critique and useful suggestions, this is the book for you. Buy it! ... Read more


19. Global Communication: Theories, Stakeholders, and Trends
by Thomas L. McPhail
list price: $57.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0205156355
Catlog: Book (2001-09-11)
Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
Sales Rank: 90176
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20. Propaganda
by Edward Bernays
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0970312598
Catlog: Book (2004-09-15)
Publisher: Ig Publishing
Sales Rank: 51367
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Bernays' honest and practical manual provides much insight into some of the most powerful and influential institutions of contemporary industrial state capitalist democracies."-Noam Chomsky

A seminal and controversial figure in the history of political thought and public relations, Edward Bernays (1891-1995), pioneered the scientific technique of shaping and manipulating public opinion, which he famously dubbed "engineering of consent." During World War I, he was an integral part of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda apparatus that was mobilized to package, advertise and sell the war to the American people as one that would "Make the World Safe for Democracy." The CPI would become the blueprint in which marketing strategies for future wars would be based upon.

Bernays applied the techniques he had learned in the CPI and, incorporating some of the ideas of Walter Lipmann, became an outspoken proponent of propaganda as a tool for democratic and corporate manipulation of the population. His 1928 bombshell Propaganda lays out his eerily prescient vision for using propaganda to regiment the collective mind in a variety of areas, including government, politics, art, science and education. To read this book today is to frightfully comprehend what our contemporary institutions of government and business have become in regards to organized manipulation of the masses.

This is the first reprint of Propaganda in over 30 years and features an introduction by Mark Crispin Miller, author of The Bush Dyslexicon: Observations on a National DisorderandCruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars--but Not in a literary sense
The first lines: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true rulling power of our country." This was written in 1928. This newphew of Sigmund Freud worked in Woodrow Wilson's creation, the Committee on Public Information, and saw first hand how the public's mind can be manipulated. Wilson was elected on a peace platform and had to transform the country to go to war against the German Kaiser. Bernays later helped publicize the American Tobacco Company, and is credited as a "father" of public relations. Anyone interested in understanding how the masses are moulded by the powers that be must read this book! ... Read more


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