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The New Media Monopoly: A Completely Revised and Updated Edition With Seven New Chapters [Paperback]

Ben H. Bagdikian
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15, 2004 0807061875 978-0807061879 20th
When the first edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 1983, critics called Ben Bagdikian's warnings about the chilling effects of corporate ownership and mass advertising on the nation's news "alarmist." Since then, the number of corporations controlling most of America's daily newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, book publishers, and movie companies has dwindled from fifty to ten to five.

The most respected critique of modern mass media ever issued is now published in a completely updated and revised twentieth anniversary edition.

'Ben Bagdikian has written the first great media book of the twenty-first century. The New Media Monopoly will provide a roadmap to understanding how we got here and where we need to go to make matters better.'
-Robert McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy

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The New Media Monopoly: A Completely Revised and Updated Edition With Seven New Chapters + Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media
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Editorial Reviews


No book on the media has proved as influential to our understanding of the dangers of corporate consolidation to democracy and the marketplace of ideas; this new edition builds on those works and surpasses them. -Eric Alterman, author of What Liberal Media?

"A groundbreaking work that charts a historical shift in the orientation of the majority of America's communications media-further away from the needs of the individual and closer to those of big business." -Bruce Manuel, Christian Science Monitor

About the Author

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ben H. Bagdikian is dean emeritus of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. His other books include Double Vision: Reflections on My Heritage, Life, and Profession.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 20th edition (May 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807061875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807061879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
This is the newly updated version of Bagdikian's classic tome *The Media Monopoly* which first appeared in 1983 and was prescient enough to reach six editions by 2000. While dismissed as alarmism, with each edition of the book the problem of corporate media consolidation became worse, and now we are down to just five mega-conglomerates controlling almost all media content, and subsequently most political and social thought among the American public. Bagdikian is an expert commentator on the effects this has on popular democracy and social justice, and the problem has become so bad that it became necessary to create a completely revised text, rather than just a "new" edition of the old book with some tacked-on updates.
This powerful manifesto by Bagdikian sometimes suffers from a lack of focus. One frequent weakness is his tendency to opinionate on the social issues he uses as examples of poor mainstream media coverage. Examples include homelessness and smoking, in which Bagdikian forgets his analysis of media control issues and embarks on long expostulations of his own personal politics. A more general issue is his tendency to drift into political science as applied to modern corporate conservatism and crony capitalism. These are subjects in which Bagdikian is certainly proficient, and they are the root causes of the horrific state of American media. However, Bagdikian frequently drifts from useful media analysis to occasionally cranky political tirades that detract from the focus and power of the book's main points.
And even though this is a completely new edition, much of the text has still been copied verbatim from the old versions of the original book, leading to odd appearances of stories and examples from the 1960s and 70s, some of which have little modern relevance.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The production of "public opinion" in the 21st century February 13, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whoever wondered, like me, what happened to quality journalism, should read this book. After Reagan won the presidential election in 1980, conservatives began attacking the Fairness Doctrine. "The Fairness Doctrine required stations to devote a reasonable time to discussions of serious public issues and allowed equal time for opposing views to be heard." That seems like a pretty good definition of quality journalism to me. How can you ever imagine editors to defend a view contrary to their own professionalism? This is only possible in a world where media conglomerates grew so big that they don't like other big corporations being attacked. The author says : "Before newspapers and their conglomerates began buying broadcast stations, in 1969 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Fairness Doctrine was constitutional, the majority of newspapers editorialized in favour of the Fairness Doctrine. But by 1984, when newspapers had become part of the growing conglomerates that owned both newspapers and broadcast stations, those newspapers had reversed their positions and editorialized against the Fairness Doctrine. At least 84 percent of newspapers editorials then argued that the Fairness Doctrine should no longer be required."

When I was a small boy, I was still taught at school that the press is a warrant for our democracy. I suppose they don't teach that anymore. The free press doesn't exist any longer. The media are now part of the establishment.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Informative January 13, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With "The New Media Monopoly", Ben Bagdikian delivers one of the best books on the modern state of the media ever written. He describes in fascinating detail the events that have surrounded the growth in the concentration of media ownership. Unlike some other texts covering the same topic, Bagdikian's writing is very readable and captivating. However, he does seem to provide more anecdotal evidence to support his observations than hard numbers. I would highly recommend accompanying this book with Robert McChesney's "The Global Media", which covers basically the same trends, but provides more hard data. McChesney also focuses more on the larger business dealings of media corporations that have lead to their consolidation rather than Bagdikian's typically smaller examples.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ! January 23, 2008
By Big E
One of the most insightful books written on the pervasive and almost criminal nature of mass media in todays world. A must read for anyone that wants to become more informed.
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