Big Media, Big Money is a lively and scathing critique of the contemporary communications industry, examining how media ownership and the profit-making motive affect the messages we receive in alarming ways. Through close readings of recent news events and critical examination of corporate influence, Bettig and Hall conclude that current interconnections among media, big business, government, and education pose a serious threat to democratic communications. The second edition includes three new chapters, covering the contemporary Hollywood film industry; the changing landscape of the music industry; and “ad creep,” the proliferation of advertising into previously ad-free venues such as schools and children’s television programming.
The new edition of Big Media, Big Money could not have come at a more important time. This may be the most important book written on the various ways in which power, capital, and politics combine to undermine the media saturated culture that is undoing any vestige of democratic values, identities, and hopes. But this is more than a powerful criticism of the media in its multiple variants, it is also a road map for citizens who want to fight back, who believe that a critical and informed formative culture is fundamental to any viable notion of democracy. Any one who wants to understand the both the destructive power and democratic possibilities of the media in today's world has to read this book.
Robert W. McChesney
In Big Media, Big Money, Ronald Bettig and Jeanne Hall have brought their careers' worth of experience together to produce perhaps the single best exposition of the political economy of the media that I have seen. It is a thrilling, provocative, and highly original book that weaves issues like the commercialization of education into the narrative. I recommend it unconditionally for classroom use.
Eileen R. Meehan
Bettig and Hall have done it again! The second edition of Big Media, Big Money expands and updates the original’s engaging overview of the American media system and its intermixture of new and traditional technologies. Big Media, Big Money explains how the concentration of ownership, the structure of media companies, and advertisers’ demands combine to limit what can be asked, said, or depicted in the media. Given the emphasis on what we can do from the grass roots to remedy this situation, this book is particularly relevant and timely.
Journalism And Mass Communication Educator
This book [stands] out for its clarity, its reliance on solid research, and its crucially important and relevant arguments.
Journal Of Communication
Many books seek to achieve timeliness and transcendence by addressing both crucial debates of the day and long-standing theoretical debates within the field. Few achieve that goal. Among those few is Big Media, Big Money, which takes on controversies over deregulation and continuing tensions between cultural studies and political economy. In a tour de force, the authors balance these concerns, contributing to each debate while presenting cogent analyses of media corporations and their impact on the quality of cultural life and democratic processes. They do so in lively, accessible prose, which is no small feat.
Big Media, Big Money is a refreshing and lively overview of the key components of the media system—from movies to music to the commercialization of education. Bettig and Hall have effectively melded political economy and cultural studies in this engaging and accessible book.
Linda K. Fuller
An eminently helpful and eye-opening book, Big Media, Big Money provides a timely critique of what George Gerbner aimed to confront in his organization called the Cultural Environment Movement. Because Bettig and Hall do such a good job here of outlining histories, politics, economics, and socio-cultural implications of various media machinations, Big Media, Big Money would make an ideal text for any number of media courses. It not only explains how media works, it also provides invaluable examples and case studies of the symbiosis between the various media at play in our societies. I would highly recommend it for a course on media criticism, while the explanations and arguments about advertising make it equally applicable for those courses.
Chapter 1 Introduction: Beat the Press
Chapter 2 Media Merger Mania: Concentration in the Media Industry
Chapter 3 The Hollywood Film Industry: Do We Really Need It?
Chapter 4 The Music Industry: The Payer Calls the Tune
Chapter 5 The News and Advertising Industries: All the News That Fits
Chapter 6 Ad Creep: The Commercialization of Culture
Chapter 7 The Commercialization of Education: Students for Sale
Chapter 8 Media and Democracy: Taking it to the Streets