Media in the Digital Age

Media in the Digital Age
by John V. Pavlik [Columbia]

This disappointing textbook, while hot off the presses in summer 08, feels already dated in its wide-eyed, facile descriptions of a brave new world of communications technology. As the author explains that DVD stands for "digital video/versatile disc," and marvels at his ability to watch episodes of Grey's Anatomy over wireless broadband, it is difficult to imagine who his intended audience is. College students are unlikely to be impressed by the novelty of such wonders, yet Pavlik rarely delves very far beneath the surface to examine the cultural or political implications of the "digital age." While the book touches on a decently broad range of subjects, including glancing references to a number of policy debates and ethical issues related to digital communications, it fails to provide meaningful context or provoke interesting questions. -jl

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey