Conglomerates and the Media
OverviewWhat are the effects of increasing conglomerate ownership on the creation and dissemination of news and culture? This collection of nine essays by leading media insiders and critics take probing, critical looks at the dramatic changes of the late-20th century. Opening with an overview of radio and television history by Erik Barnouw, the "dean of American media critics", the first part of the text features longtime media insiders such as Richard M. Cohen (former "CBS Evening News" senior producer) and Gene Roberts (managing editor of the "New York Times"), writing candidly on the effects of increasing profit expectations in the newsroom. In the second part of the book, prominent media analysts, such as Mark Crispin Miller (author of "Boxed In"), Thomas Schatz (author of "The Genius of the System"), David Lieberman ("USA Today"), and Patricia Aufderheide ("In These Times"), discuss the dumbing-down of the publishing industry, the transformation of Hollywood, the increasing importance of merchandizing and foreign rights in the media, and the false promise of the digital age. Finally, Thomas Frank ("The Baffler") examines advertising and the possibility of resistance to conglomerate control of the media.