The Republic of Mass Culture: Journalism, Filmmaking, and Broadcasting in America since 1941 / Edition 3

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The new edition of James L. Baughman's successful book The Republic of Mass Culture examines the advent of television and the impact it had on the established mass media—radio, film, newspapers, and magazines. When television captured the largest share of the mass audience by the late 1950s, rival media were forced to target smaller, subgroup markets with novel content: rock 'n' roll for teenage radio listeners in the 1950s, sexually explicit films that began to appear in the 1960s, and analytical newspaper reporting in the 1970s and 1980s. The growing popularity of cable TV posed new complications, especially for network television. The capacity of individual media industries to adapt not only determined their success or failure but also shaped the content of their products.

Two new chapters examine media entrants like Fox News, technologies such as the Internet, and increasing industry concentration. Baughman discusses significant changes in media economics and audience demand that are having profound effects on radio program formats, television news coverage, and the very existence of newspapers.

Carefully drawing on interdisciplinary communication research, The Republic of Mass Culture presents a lively analysis of the shifting objectives and challenges of the media industries.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review

Successfully integrates media content, commerce, technology, and external influences and... traces the interconnected web of the established media and the emergent medium of television... An important contribution to the history of media industries.

Journal of American History

Factual and anecdotal, Baughman's book will be useful to students and scholars seeking a wide overview of media history since 1941... His work is unusual in its breadth: it covers not only motion pictures and television but also radio, newspaper and periodical publishing, and even to some extent the music industry.

Virginia Quarterly Review

A remarkably complete historical account of the changing nature of the media industries in postwar America.

Journalism History - Mike Conway

We need books like James L. Baughman's The Republic of Mass Culture.

Technology and Culture - Megan Mullen

A useful reference for media scholars at many levels... comprehensive in its coverage, giving especially good coverage to journalistic and other sources often overlooked by academics.

Baughman describes American mass culture before the advent of television, beginning with the mass media's role in WWII, discusses the rise of television and network television's dominance of American mass culture in the 1960s and 1970s, and examines TV's rivals between 1960 and 1990 as well as the decline of network television and the possibility that everything will change again. Paper edition (unseen), $11.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801883163
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2005
  • Series: The American Moment Series
  • Edition description: third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

James L. Baughman is a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His previous books include Henry R. Luce and the Rise of the American News Media (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001).

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

1 The voluntary propagandists 1
2 Americans and their mass media in 1945 9
3 Test patterns : television comes to America, 1945-1955 30
4 The war for attention : responding to television, 1947-1958 59
5 Evenings of avoidance : television in the 1960s 91
6 Competing for the marginal : television's rivals, 1958-1970 117
7 Network television triumphant, 1970-1981 143
8 The Babel builders : television's rivals, 1970-1990 175
9 The perils and possibilities of cable television, 1980-1992 211
10 Century's end, 1993-2005 226
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