The Rise And Fall Of The Media Establishment / Edition 1

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Darrell West argues against prevailing wisdom that the media has increased in influence in the past decade. Covering over 200 years of American history, beginning in colonial America and ending with the present day, The Rise and Fall of the Media Establishment provides an overview of the media in various key stages of American History, paying particular attention to the rise and fall in influence of the media elite. West organizes the book into five distinct media eras: the Partisan, Commercial, Objective, Interpretive, and Fragmented Media. Each chapter, organized around these media eras, includes case studies that illustrate the theme of that chapter. Ideal for the general reader as well as the academic, The Rise and Fall of the Media Establishment offers an accessible, engaging book with a challenging thesis.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...useful as a concise and readable history of the American press."—Matt Weiser, American Studies International

West delivers an astute, probing, partisan critique of the social and governmental ramifications of 'electronic Balkanization,' 'crude' late-night TV and 'niche-market narrowcasting.' Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
This book's strength lies in its unique blend of historical and political perspectives. West (political science, Brown Univ.), who has authored many books on related topics (e.g., Checkbook Democracy: How Money Corrupts Political Campaigns), details here the growth and development of the media in the United States during the period between 1789 and 2000. Divided into five historical periods of media development (partisan media, commercial media, objective media, interpretive media, and fragmented media), the book is slim in size but surprisingly wide-ranging. West gives a thorough, succinct overview of the topic by providing extensive references and meticulous documentation. In the early chapters, he primarily discusses political relationships, while in the later chapters his discussion expands to include social and economic issues. The last two chapters, which explore the fragmentation of media influence and other issues still to come, are particularly well written. Highly recommended for academic libraries upper-division undergraduates and above. Angela Weiler, SUNY at Morrisville Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
West (political science and public policy, Brown U.) tells this story: in the early days of the US republic, the partisan and sensational nature of the press allowed journalists little respect from public; that attitude persisted through the 19th century; the rise of professional journalists and changes in the media made journalists some of the most influential power brokers during most of the 20th century; in the last decade of the century, emerging technologies such as cable television, talk radio, and the Internet eroded the power of the conventional media outlets and news became once again more sensational and tabloid oriented. He also considers the impact of the changes on society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312226893
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Darrell M. West is with the Department of Political Science at Brown University.

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Table of Contents

• The Partisan Media
• The Commercial Media
• The Objective Media
• The Interpretative Media
• The Fragmented Media
• The Future of the Media
• Appendix

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