Cover for MCCHESNEY: Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times

Rich Media, Poor Democracy

Communication Politics in Dubious Times
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of the Goldsmith Book Prize, 1999. Recipient of the Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award, 1999. Winner of the ICA Fellows Book Award, 2008.

Robert McChesney argues that the media, far from providing a bedrock for freedom and democracy, have become a significant antidemocratic force in the United States and, to varying degrees, worldwide.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy addresses the corporate media explosion and the corresponding implosion of public life that characterizes our times. Challenging the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information "choices" is ipso facto a democratic one, McChesney argues that the major beneficiaries of the so-called Information Age are wealthy investors, advertisers, and a handful of enormous media, computer, and telecommunications corporations. This concentrated corporate control, McChesney maintains, is disastrous for any notion of participatory democracy.

Combining unprecedented detail on current events with historical sweep, McChesney chronicles the waves of media mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s. He reviews the corrupt and secretive enactment of public policies surrounding the Internet, digital television, and public broadcasting. He also addresses the gradual and ominous adaptation of the First Amendment ("freedom of the press") as a means of shielding corporate media power and the wealthy.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy exposes several myths about the media—in particular, that the market compels media firms to "give the people what they want"— that limit the ability of citizens to grasp the real nature and logic of the media system. If we value our democracy, McChesney warns, we must organize politically to restructure the media in order to affirm their connection to democracy.

"McChesney . . . provokes an absolutely necessary discussion on the relationship between the control of information and our hopes for a genuine democracy."--Howard Zinn

Robert McChesney, a research associate professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Information and Library Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the author of Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for the Control of U.A. Broadcasting, 1928-35 and other books on media.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/22qxm7kq9780252024481.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Intelligently Designed

How Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution

Edward Caudill

Covering Bin Laden

Global Media and the World's Most Wanted Man

Edited by Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait

The Obama Phenomenon

Toward a Multiracial Democracy

Edited by Charles P. Henry, Robert L. Allen, and Robert Chrisman

Digital Depression

Information Technology and Economic Crisis

Dan Schiller

How Free Can Religion Be?

Randall P. Bezanson

Acid Hype

American News Media and the Psychedelic Experience

Stephen Siff

Women for President

Media Bias in Nine Campaigns

Erika Falk

Cancer Activism

Gender, Media, and Public Policy

Karen M. Kedrowski and Marilyn Stine Sarow

Hillary Clinton in the News

Gender and Authenticity in American Politics

Shawn J. Parry-Giles

The Real Cyber War

The Political Economy of Internet Freedom

Shawn M. Powers and Michael Jablonski