Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times
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
To order online:
To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)
Modern News from Realism to the Digital
Kevin G. Barnhurst
How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio
Derek W. Vaillant
Global Media and the World's Most Wanted Man
Edited by Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait
Information Technology and Economic Crisis
Gender and Authenticity in American Politics
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
The FBI and the New York Intellectuals
Postwar Audio Documentary in the Public Interest
Matthew C. Ehrlich
The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon
The Digital Transformation of the Chinese Economy
Hackers, Data, and Code
A Viewer's History from the Civil War to the Great Depression
Cara A. Finnegan
Globalization and Environmental Discourses
Patrick D. Murphy
How Creationists Built the Campaign against Evolution
The Political Economy of Internet Freedom
Shawn M. Powers and Michael Jablonski
The Policies of Place
The Origins of an Authoritarian Neoliberal State