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There is a major distinction between those who absorb media images as spectators, and those who absorb them as commentators. Responding to images as a journalist, broadcaster, essayist, or critic, requires keen precision and a unique originality. In today's media-saturated environment, the only way to be heard over the din of all the other news reports and commentaries is to write and respond in a manner that is fresh and inviting. MEDIA JOURNAL is a reader containing 40 selections focusing on cultural studies, the media and popular culture. The authors have organized the book by asking readers to do three things: to keep media journals in which they reflect on the uses they make of the voices and images of popular culture, to read and respond to the work of other media critics, and to try their hands at writing media criticism themselves. Readings are drawn from a wide range of writings, and are selected for their liveliness, contemporaneity, and insight. Updated readings better address the diverse media culture of the 1990s. Each reading selection is followed by: "Coming to Terms"--understanding the author in one's own words; "Reading as a Writer"--looking at style and strategy; and "Writing Criticism"--making an author's words and ideas a source for one's own writing. Journalists, writers, cultural historians, critics, philosophers, and anyone interested in popular culture, the media, and cultural studies.
I. MEDIA JOURNAL ASSIGNMENTS.
A Day in the Life.
Keeping in Touch.
Identifying with Music.
Connecting with Celebrities.
Forming a Style.
Watching TV Watching.
I Saw God and/or Tangerine Dream, Lester Bangs.
Imaginary Social Relationships, John Caughey.
* Is Anything for Real? Travis Charbeneau.
Ideal Homes, Rosalind Coward.
* Visions of Black-White Friendship, Benjamin DeMott.
Blue Jeans, Umberto Eco.
Playboy Joins the Battle of the Sexes, Barbara Ehrenreich.
Wrestling with Myself, George Felton.
* Confessions of a TV Talk Show Shrink, Stuart Fischoff.
* Movies and History, Eric Foner and John Sayles.
* Grieving for the Camera, Neal Gabler.
* Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
* Pop Goes the Culture, William Grimes.
* The Conformity of Office Zaniness, Daniel Harris.
The Importance of Being Oprah, Barbara Grizzuti Harrison.
* Happy [ ] Day to You, Gerri Hirshey.
*The Internet Is Four Inches Tall, M. Kadi.
The Malling of America: An Inside Look at the Great Consumer Paradise, William Severini Kowinski.
About a Salary or Reality? — Rap's Recurrent Conflict, Alan Light.
Understanding Television, David Marc.
Fortunate Son, Dave Marsh.
* Life in the Stone Age, Louis Menand.
The 19-Inch Neighborhood, Joshua Meyrowitz.
Barbara Walter's Theater of Revenge, Mark Crispin Miller.
Serious Watching, Alexander Nehamas.
* The Home Magazine Kitchen, Donald Norman.
The Peek-a-Boo World, Neil Postman.
Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature, Janice A. Radway.
*Trend-Spotting: It's All the Rage, Edward Rothstein.
* Why Is the Force Still with Us? John Seabrook.
* Tales from the Cutting Room Floor, Debra Seagal.
* Street Corners in Cyberspace, Andrew L. Shapiro.
Sex, Lies and Advertising, Gloria Steinem.
The Machine in the Kitchen, John Thorne.
A Weight That Women Carry, Sallie Tisdale.
* This Is a Naked Lady, Gerard Van Der Leun.
* Denim Downsize, Jay Weiser.
Michael Jordan Leaps the Great Divide, John Edgar Wideman.
Urban Spaceman, Judith Williamson.
III. PROJECTS IN CRITICISM.
A Media Autobiography.
The Meanings of News.
Critics, Fans, and Writing.
The Process of Viewing a Movie.
Naming and Interpreting a Genre.
The Media Generation(s).
Toward a Theory of Watching TV.