Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication / Edition 2

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Media Today puts students at the center of the profound changes in the twenty-first century media world – from digital convergence to media ownership – and gives them the skills to think critically about what these changes mean for the role of media in their lives.

Media Today, Fourth Edition is built around four key concepts:

  • A media systems approach allows students to understand the interconnected cultural, political, and economic forces that shape media they encounter every day.
  • Unique insights into media trends give students an insider's perspective on how media industries are responding to changes from globalization to social networking.
  • Focus on digital convergence shows in each chapter how digital media is transforming traditional mass media such as newspapers, magazines, and television.
  • A media literacy goal encourages and builds critical skills to make students more informed and engaged citizens in our media-driven society.

Completely revised with updated examples, new case studies, and new online video resources, the 4th edition of Media Today connects the latest trends, debates, and technologies to the history of media, highlighting the impact and meaning of today's changes to the media landscape, especially how traditional industries have blurred together with digital convergence. Additional learning resources including a new set of online video resources, interactive quizzes, study resources, and instructor guides are available on the free companion website at:

How do books, newspapers, music recordings, movies, television shows, and online sites get made? How does content in different media get funded, produced and delivered to the right audiences? Why do certain materials and not others get created and distributed in different media? What role do governments (federal, state, local) play in the process? [This book] addresses these and related questions with concrete examples from a wide variety of mass media - from books to cable television, highway billboards to online services. The text tracks, among other developments, the explosion of competition among new and old media, pressures toward greater and greater conglomeratization among media firms, the need to increasing segment audiences, and their obligation to expand global sales. Students need to understand what is happening, why, and with what possible consequences for society. -Pref.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Media Today is the best textbook to understand the organization, economics, and emerging trends within the U.S. media sector. Its institutional focus and the level of detail and updated knowledge it provides in this regard makes it the best textbook for an introductory media course."—Gisela Gil-Egui, Fairfield University

"What makes Media Today especially stand out is the extra attention to the dynamics of the ever-changing media industries. Joe Turow's book offers a nuanced, comprehensive and accessible treatment of how economic incentives and current trends in media matter for us and our democracy."—Matt McAllister, Pennsylvania State University

"Media Today engages students and serves as a helpful guide to our new media-saturated world. The writing is lively and concise, and the colorful illustrations are full of zest. Turow’s dry wit engages students in a conversational narrative that prompts them to connect what they read to their own experience of contemporary media trends."—Edward M. Clift, Woodbury University

"Media Today skillfully weaves together all the core components needed for an introductory media course: basics of media literacy and criticism, details about a wide range of the most current media, and an uncommonly thorough integration of the functioning of media industries. Accessible and smart in its writing style and full of useful illustrations and tables, Media Today, is not only up-to-date in its information, but its perspective prepares the future of media studies."—Amanda Lotz, University of Michigan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205564569
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/28/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 7.89 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Professor Turow is an elected Fellow of the International Communication Association and was presented with a Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Communication Assn. A 2005 New York Times Magazine article referred to Professor Turow as "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation." He has authored nine books, edited five books, and written more than 100 articles on mass media industries.

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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Understanding the Nature of Mass Media 2

1 Understanding Mass Media and the Importance of Media Literacy 4

2 Making Sense of the Media Business 38

3 Formal and Informal Controls on Media Content: Government Regulation, Self-Regulation, and Ethics 80

4 Making Sense of Research on Media Effects and Media Culture 142

Pt. 2 Media Giants and Cross-Media Activities 186

5 A World of Blurred Media Boundaries 188

6 Understanding the Strategies of Media Giants 230

Pt. 3 The Print Media 260

7 The Book Industry 262

8 The Newspaper Industry 298

9 The Magazine Industry 342

Pt. 4 The Electronic Media 378

10 The Recording Industry 380

11 The Radio Industry 418

12 The Motion Picture Industry 462

13 The Television Industry 504

14 The Internet and Video Game Industries 546

Pt. 5 Advertising and Public Relations 590

15 The Advertising Industry 592

16 The Public Relations Industry 624

Epilogue 660

Notes 662

Photo Credits 667

Index 669

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