The Political Economy of Media

The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas
by Robert McChesney [Monthly Review]

This substantial collection of essays is a companion volume to McChesney's first book of 2008, Communications Revolution. In that work, the author calls for a transformation of the academic field of media studies (in alignment with the growing media democracy movement), based on the observation that both communications technology and media policy are in the midst of a major shift, potentially a shift towards democratization. The Political Economy of Media provides a rich toolkit for academics and critical activists wishing to ground today's media critiques in an historical context, and to further connect media activism with long-term goals of participatory democracy and social justice. McChesney has gathered together numerous threads from his brilliant scholarship over the last 20 years – mostly from previously scattered journal articles and unpublished talks. Chapters focus on three areas: critiques of journalism; historical studies on the economic structures of media; and politics and the media reform movement. Particularly valuable sections include chapters on "how to think about journalism" and on the history of legal and popular understandings of the first amendment. -jl

buy online

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