Key Readings in Media Today : Mass Communication in Contexts book cover
1st Edition

Key Readings in Media Today
Mass Communication in Contexts

ISBN 9780415992053
Published November 18, 2008 by Routledge
496 Pages

SAVE $18.89
was $62.95
USD $44.06

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Key Readings in Media Today provides both historical and contemporary analyses of each of the major media industries: book, newspaper, magazine, sound recording/radio, motion picture, television, new media, advertising, and public relations. The volume places an emphasis on convergence, looking at the ways boundaries between these media industries are blurring in surprising new ways. Section introductions and headnotes for each article offer valuable critical and historical context, while review questions after each reading test students' understanding of key concepts. Additional resources on the Companion Website ( are designed to spark classroom discussion and connect the readings to the latest contemporary media issues and controversies. By combining classic studies of mass communication with contemporary research on media, technology, and culture, Key Readings in Media Today will help students to make sense of the rapidly changing media environment.

Table of Contents


Part I: Understanding the Nature of Mass Media

1: Mass Communication, Popular Taste and Organized Social Action, P.F. Lazarsfeld and Robert King Merton

2: The Definition of Media Literacy, W. James Potter

3: Common Media for an Uncommon Nation, Ben H. Bagdikian

4: Political Problem, Political Solutions, Robert McChesney

5: Not Toasters: The Special Nature of Media Products, C. Edwin Baker

6: Four puzzles from Cyberspace, Lawrence Lessig


Part II: The Print Media

7: Making news: Time and Typifications, Gaye Tuchman

8: Convergence: News Production in a Digital Age, Eric Klinenberg

9: Pushing Time Ahead: Digital Challenges Facing Print Media, Brooke Erin Duffy

10: Sex, Lies, and Advertising, Gloria Steinem

11: Is There a Text in This Advertising Campaign?: Literature, Marketing, and Harry Potter, Philip Nel

12: Newspapers Rocken Espanol, Mark Fitzgerald


Part III: The Electronic Media

13: What Is News?, Neil Postman and Steve Powers

14: Queens for a Day: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and the Neoliberal Project, Katherine Sender

15: Deconstructing the Diversity Principle, Philip M. Napoli

16: Radio in Modernity: Time, Place and ‘Communicative Capacity,’ David Hendy

17: Fallout: A Follow Up to the Internet Debacle, Janis Ian

18: Promoting and Protecting the Industry, Janet Wasko

19: Art House Meets Graphic Novel, or Blockbuster Meets Superhero Comic?: The Contradictory Relationship between Film and Comic Art, Matthew P. McAllister, Ian Gordon and Mark Jancovich.

 Part IV: The Digital Media

20: The Long Tail, Chris Anderson

21: Peer Production and Sharing, Yochai Benkler

22: Your Brain on Video Games: Could They Actually Be Good for You?, Steven Johnson

23: Sports Online: The Newest Player in Mediasport, Michael Real

24: Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence and Participatory Culture, Henry Jenkins

25: Download This: YouTube Phenom Has a Big Secret, Ethan Smith and Peter Lattman

 Part V: Advertising and Public Relations

26: The Work of Adcult, James B. Twitchell

27: ‘Chaos Scenario': A Look at the Marketing Industry's Coming Disaster, Bob Garfield

28: Rethinking Television in the Digital Age, Joseph Turow

29: Philanthropy as Public Relations: A Critical Perspective on Cause Marketing, Inger L. Stole

30: Media, War, and Propaganda: Strategies of Information Management during the 2003 Iraq War, Deepa Kumar

31: The Public and its Problems: Some Notes for the New Millennium, Stuart Ewen

View More



Brooke Erin Duffy is Assistant Professor in the Department of Advertising at Temple University.

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Professor Turow is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association and was presented with a Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Communication Assn. A 2005 New York Times Magazine article referred to Professor Turow as "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation." He has authored nine books, edited five books, and written more than 100 articles on mass media industries.