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Media Monopoly 5th Pa [Paperback]

4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 22 2002
This fifth edition of the classic work on control of the modern media describes the digital revolution and reveals startling details of a new communications cartel within the United States. "An eye-opening attack on the growing concentration of major media."Clarence Page, Chicago TRIBUNE.

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"Since its publication in 1983, Ben. H. Bagdikian's The Media Monopoly has served as a bible for students of media-industry concentration." -- Willamette Week, Portland, Oregon Nov. 8, 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Attack of the Libertarian Media Sept. 11 2003
The cover of this book reports that when Bagdikian published the first edition in 1983, it was dismissed as "alarmist." But he has been vindicated, as the book has reached its sixth edition and the problems he first articulated have become far worse in the ensuing years. The media monopoly problem is far from alarmist. It's alarming. Bagdikian deserves major credit for first publicizing the troubling trend of consolidated media ownership by huge mega-conglomerate corporations. Now we are down to six major media owners. Bagdikian proves that the media have been enslaved to the will of advertisers for decades anyway, as most forms of media make far more money from selling ads than from the members of the public who consume their offerings. But the problem is currently worse than ever as the focus is no longer the public interest, but boosting short-term profits, which has just about eliminated the search for truth or any long-term social focus.
The problem with this edition of the book is that the only current portions are the foreword and afterword, in which Bagdikian outlines where things stand today (that is, worse than ever). Otherwise, the main body of the book appears to be mostly the third edition from 1990. This leads to outdated information and conclusions that are a serious problem for such a quickly developing subject. Although Bagdikian is now more than eighty years old, this work would benefit significantly from a thorough re-write of the main text, rather than the piecemeal additions to the foreword and afterword that supposedly indicate a "new" edition. (Note that plenty of other more modern books have stolen Bagdikian's thunder and cover the issue equally well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It makes you understand "how it all works". June 24 2001
Now you have a map: it's up to you to decide where to go. "The Media Monopoly" gives you all the elements you need to understand how the mass media "world" works. Your decisions are now informed ones.
The author kept his writing short and simple. Well and clearly written, this book raises questions that are to be addressed, sooner or later (you'll find plenty). It explains you why media companies merge; why they have so much power and how they exploit it (to pay less taxes, for instance). How they select editors and journalists: who they fire, who they keep, why - with real cases examined -. It also explains why their big size is dangerous, and it reports a few uncelebrated examples of self-serving behaviour (after p. 39). Here is their power: "In 1949, for example, William Randolph Hearst, head of one large publishing empire, and Henry Luce, chief of another, Time, Inc., were both worried about communism and the growth of liberalism in the United States." Enter "Billy Graham, an obscure evangelist holding poorly attended tent meetings in Los Angeles. (...) Hearst and Luce interviewed the obscure preacher and decided he was worthy of their support. Billy Graham became an almost instantaneous national and, later, international figure preaching anticommunism. In late 1949, Hearst sent a telegram to all Hearst editors: "Puff Graham". The editors did - in Hearst newspapers, magazines, movies, and newsreels. Within two months Graham was preaching to crowds of 350,000." A hint: don't dismiss this example because it took place so many years ago and because it involved an anticommunist: mass media "puff" products, persons, politicians every day.
I have to say that here and there I don't agree with the suggestions or with the opinions of the author. As an example (see p. 41) Mr.
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1.0 out of 5 stars good idea, poor execution March 22 2003
By A Customer
Bagdikian manages to take an important subject -- deserving of sober and careful analysis -- and buries it in a shrill, overwrought and largely useless diatribe. His general thesis, that the mass media are undergoing consolidation antithetical to consumer interests, is beyond serious debate. Yet the book is so bereft of serious analysis and scholarship that the case is hardly to be made out. For the wholly naive this book may, perhaps, open some new vistas. But for anyone who regularly gets past the sports pages and comics there is little here of interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Interesting... July 18 2002
By A Customer
Revised and expanded edition (second was 1987) of a critical analysis of media power, global media monopolies, and multimedia mergers.
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If you haven't been amazed for a long time, this book will amaze you. It is absolutely a must for every American citizen.
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