This text emphasizes that media audiences can take more active roles as media consumers and have a deeper understanding of the influence the media have in both shaping and reflecting culture. Through this cultural perspective, students learn that audience members are as much a part of the mass communication process as are the media producers, technologies, and industries.
Stanley Baran earned his Ph.D. in Communication research at the University of Massacusetts after taking his M.A. in journalism at Pennsylvania State University. He taught for 4 years at Cleveland State University, eventually moving to the University of Texas. He led the Department of Radio-TV-Film's graduate program for 6 of his 9 years in Austin and won numerous teaching awards there, including the AMOCO Teaching Excellence Award as the best instructor on that 40,000 students campus, the College of Communication's Teaching Excellence Award as that college's outstanding professor, and Utmost Magazine's Student Poll for best instructor; Dr. Baran moved to San Jose State University in 1987 and served 9 years as chair of the Department of Television, Radio, Film, and Theatre. At SJSU he was named President's Scholar as the university's outstanding researcher. Now, he teaches at Bryant University, where he is the founding chairman of that school's Communication Department. Among the other experiences that helped shaped this book are his service as a judge for the Fulbright Scholar Awards and his many years of professional activity in audience research, writing for radio, and producing for television. Dr. Baran has published 10 books and scores of scholarly articles, and he sits or has sat on the editorial boards of five journals. His work has been translated into half a dozen languages. He is a skilled sailor and plays tenor sax in the Wakefield, Rhode Island, Civil Band. He is married to Susan Baran and has three very cool children, Simmony, Matt, and Jordan.