Commercial Culture

Commercial Culture : The Mass Media System and the Public Interest

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Description

A powerful critique of American mass communications by a scholar who is also an experienced practitioner, Commercial Culture scrutinizes the mass media system and shows how it might be improved. Bogart highlights four trends that together sound an urgent call for reform: the blurring of distinctions among traditional media and between individual and mass communication; the increasing concentration of media control in a disturbingly small number of powerful organizations; the shift from advertisers to consumers as the source of media revenues; and the growing confusion of information and entertainment, of the real and the imaginary. The appetite for media, Bogart argues, differs from other demands the market is left to satisfy because it shapes the public's character and values. In this work he calls for a coherent national media policy, respectful of the American tradition of free expression, and subject to vigorous public debate.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 396 pages
  • 165.1 x 243.1 x 31.2mm | 746.47g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195090985
  • 9780195090987

Review quote

powerful panoramic critique * The Independent Monday section, 18 August 1997 * Anyone concerned about the impact for good or ill of the media on our society should have access to this book for reference. It is a mine of facts, quotes, assessments and views - an ample, but satisfying meal, rather like four courses, each of pate de foie gras! ... I give Leo Bogart good marks for lucidity. * Logus *show more

Back cover copy

American mass media are the world's most diverse, rich and free. But their dazzling resources, variety, and influence cannot be rated by the envy they arouse in other countries. Their failures are commonly excused on the grounds that they are creatures of the market, that they give people what they want. This book focusses not on the glories of the media, but on what is wrong with them and why, and how they may be made better. This powerful critique of American mass communications highlights four trends that together sound an urgent call for reform: the blurring of distinctions among traditional media and between individual and mass communication; the increasing concentration of media control in a disturbingly small number of powerful organizations; the shift from advertisers to consumers as the source of media revenues; and the growing confusion of information and entertainment, of the real and the imaginary. The future direction of the media, Bogart contends, should not be left to market forces alone. He shows how the public's appetite for media differs from other demands the market is left to satisfy because of how profoundly the media shape the public's character and values. In conclusion, Bogart asserts that a world of new communications technology requires a coherent national media policy, respectful of the American tradition of free expression and subject to vigorous public scrutiny and debate. Commercial Culture is the most comprehensive analysis of the media as they evolve in a technological age. It will be of great appeal to general readers interested in mass communications, as well as professionals and scholars studying American mass media.show more

About Leo Bogart

Leo Bogart holds Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has taught at New York University and Columbia University.show more

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