Conglomerates and the Media

An examination of the effects of increasing conglomerate control on news and culture by nine leading insiders and critic

“Filled with excellent work on the creeping global reach of mass media.” —Mother Jones

What are the effects of increasing conglomerate ownership on the creation and dissemination of news and culture? These nine essays by leading media insiders and critics take probing, critical looks at the dramatic changes of recent years.

Opening with a fascinating overview of radio and television history by Erik Barnouw, the “dean of American media critics,” the first part of the book features longtime media insiders such as Richard M. Cohen (former CBS Evening News senior producer) and Gene Roberts (former managing editor of the New York Times), writing candidly on the effects of increasing profit expectations in the newsroom. In the second part of the book, prominent media analysts, such as Mark Crispin Miller (author of Boxed In), Thomas Schatz (author of The Genius of the System), David Lieberman (USA Today), and Patricia Aufderheide (In These Times), discuss the dumbing-down of the publishing industry, the transformation of Hollywood, the increasing importance of merchandising and foreign rights in all media, and the false promise of the digital age. Finally, Thomas Frank (The Baffler) examines advertising and the possibility of resistance to conglomerate control of the media.

Praise

“Provocative critiques, gracefully expressed. ”
Booklist
“Miller's essay on the degeneration of the publishing industry is a model of modulated analysis and curl-your-hair passion.”
The Boston Globe