From Publishers Weekly
In The Rise and Fall of the Media Establishment, Darrell M. West (Checkbook Democracy: How Money Corrupts Political Campaigns), professor of political science and public policy at Brown University, traces media's influence from 1789 to 2000. While 19th-century journalists "did not have much credibility or independent power," in the 20th century "journalists became major power brokers," he observes. In the 1990s, however, "the media establishment has lost control over news reporting and a wide range of media outlets are in cutthroat competition, resulting in "more sensational and tabloid-oriented" coverage. West delivers an astute, probing, partisan critique of the social and governmental ramifications of "electronic Balkanization," "crude" late-night TV and "niche-market narrowcasting."
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This book's strength lies in its unique blend of historical and political perspectives. West (political science, Brown Univ.), who has authored many books on related topics (e.g., Checkbook Democracy: How Money Corrupts Political Campaigns), details here the growth and development of the media in the United States during the period between 1789 and 2000. Divided into five historical periods of media development (partisan media, commercial media, objective media, interpretive media, and fragmented media), the book is slim in size but surprisingly wide-ranging. West gives a thorough, succinct overview of the topic by providing extensive references and meticulous documentation. In the early chapters, he primarily discusses political relationships, while in the later chapters his discussion expands to include social and economic issues. The last two chapters, which explore the fragmentation of media influence and other issues still to come, are particularly well written. Highly recommended for academic libraries upper-division undergraduates and above. Angela Weiler, SUNY at Morrisville
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.