Cover image for Rich media, poor democracy : communication politics in dubious times
Rich media, poor democracy : communication politics in dubious times
McChesney, Robert Waterman, 1952-
Publication Information:
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 427 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
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P95.82.U6 M38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Addresses the corporate media explosion and the corresponding implosion of public life that characterizes our times.

Author Notes

Robert W. McChesney is, a research associate professor in the Institute of Communications Research and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

McChesney (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) joins Upton Sinclair, George Seldes, A.J. Liebling, Ben Bagdikian, and Herb Schiller as an astute critic of the sellout of mass media--and democratic society--to corporate America. He shows the extent to which US media conglomerates have taken over aspects of education, sports, leisure and recreation, and culture, while they have snaked their way into global markets. The results, he contends, are a hypercommercialized society (the world as one huge mall); the replacement of journalism as a public service and democratic agency with shlock reportage; and the "ominous adaptation" of the First Amendment to shield corporate media power, advertisers, and the wealthy. Contending that the power and money behind the conglomerates means that everything and everyone has a price, McChesney packs his book with historical and contemporary facts and examples. And (unlike most critics) he offers a solution: four proposals for media reform. McChesney uses trade and journalistic sources liberally, thus keeping the information current in the fast-changing world of media business; unfortunately for libraries, he does not refer enough to the burgeoning academic literature that is finally appearing. All who cherish democratic principles should read this book. All collections. J. A. Lent; University of Western Ontario

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introduction: The Media/Democracy Paradoxp. 1
Part I Politics
1 U.S. Media at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Centuryp. 15
2 The Media System Goes Globalp. 78
3 Will the Internet Set Us Free?p. 119
Part II History
4 Educators and the Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-35p. 189
5 Public Broadcasting: Past, Present, ... and Future?p. 226
6 The New Theology of the First Amendment: Class Privilege over Democracyp. 257
Conclusion: The U.S. Left and Media Politicsp. 281
Notesp. 321
Indexp. 395