In this critical primer, Michael Z. Newman introduces newcomers to the key concepts, issues, and vocabulary of media studies.
Across ten chapters, Newman examines topics from text and audience to citizenship and consumerism, drawing on a myriad of examples of media old and new. Film and TV rub shoulders with mobile games and social media, and popular music and video sharing platforms with journalism and search engines. While the book takes a critical, cultural approach, it covers topics that apply across many kinds of media scholarship, bridging the humanities and the social sciences and looking at media as a global phenomenon. It considers media in relation to society and its unequal structures of power, and relates media representations to their conditions of production in media industries and consumption in the everyday lives of audiences and users. Spanning the historical periods of mass media and online participatory culture, it also probes assumptions about media that were formulated in a previous era and looks at how to update our thinking to address an ever-changing digital mediascape.
With its clear and accessible style, this book is tailor-made for undergraduate students of media, communication, and cultural studies, as well as anyone who would like to better understand media.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Industry 3. Text 4. Audience 5. Representation 6. Ideology 7. Policy and Regulation 8. Citizenship 9. Consumerism 10. Technology 11. Global and Local
Michael Z. Newman is Professor in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in the programs in Film Studies and Media, Cinema, and Digital Studies. He is the author of Indie: An American Film Culture (2011), Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium (2014), Atari Age: The Emergence of Video Games in America (2017), and co-author of Legitimating Television: Media Convergence and Cultural Status (2012).
"Bravo to Michael Newman for expertly rendering the dense and sometimes unwieldy discipline of media studies into an approachable and useable form for instructors and students. Having studied and taught media studies for a quarter of a century, this is the first book I have encountered that adequately captures and explains a media studies approach for undergraduate students. Deeply grounded in key classic and contemporary work of the field, Newman deftly explores the broad range of media with which today’s students engage. Critical questions related to race, gender, and sexuality are impressively integrated throughout the book. Finally, the ‘toolkit' approach makes this an infinitely flexible text for instructors and students."
Kathleen Battles, Professor and Chair, Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations, Oakland University, USA
"The Media Studies Toolkit skillfully breaks down its many approaches and concepts, producing always accessible, smart and up-to-date discussions. Keeping in mind the politics of media, Michael Z. Newman demystifies and brings alive the critical complexities of media studies, whether focusing on "‘legacy"’ media, the buzz of participatory culture, or doing a textual analysis. Ranging from the classic model of industry-text-audience, to key issues of media regulation, representation and globalisation, this accomplished book really is a one-stop source of clear-headed wisdom, analysis and ‘how-to’ guidance."
Matt Hills, Professor of Journalism and Media, University of Huddersfield, UK
"Michael Z. Newman's The Media Studies Toolkit is a welcome addition to the field of film and media studies. Newman's accessible and engaging writing in addition to the many varied examples that assist in explaining the foundational concepts of the field make this text a valued contribution to training up students to become more critically literate consumers and creators."
Kristen J. Warner, Associate Professor of Journalism and Creative Media, University of Alabama, USA
"Michael Newman accomplishes the seemingly impossible: offering an accessible, engaging, and inclusive overview of media studies. Skillfully blending classic concepts with contemporary examples drawn across a wide range of media forms, The Media Studies Toolkit provides students with a welcoming introduction to where the field has been and where it is going. Equally important, Newman shows how to research, apply, and connect ideas drawn from both humanistic and social scientific studies of media."
Alisa Perren, Associate Professor of Radio-Television-Film and Co-Director of the Center for Entertainment and Media Industries, The University of Texas at Austin, USA