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The yearly volumes of Censored, in continuous publication since 1976 and since 1995 available through Seven Stories Press, is dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship. The top stories are listed democratically in order of importance according to students, faculty, and a national panel of judges. Each of the top stories is presented at length, alongside updates from the investigative reporters who broke the stories.
"In this passionate and strikingly lucid essay, Robert McChesney makes clear why all of us should be alarmed about the effects of media mergers on the future of American democracy. This is a must reading for anyone who wants to get a quick understanding of this troubling trend."--Susan J. Douglas, author of Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
Daily newspapers are closing across America. Washington bureaus are shuttering; whole areas of the federal government are now operating with no press coverage. International bureaus are going, going, gone. Journalism, the counterbalance to corporate and political power, the lifeblood of American democracy, is not just threatened. It is in meltdown. In The Death and Life of American Journalism, Robert W. McChesney, an academic, and John Nichols, a journalist, who together founded the nation's leading media reform network, Free Press, investigate the crisis. They propose a bold strategy for saving journalism and saving democracy, one that looks back to how the Founding Fathers ensured free press protection with the First Amendment and provided subsidies to the burgeoning print press of the young nation.
American journalism is collapsing as newspapers and magazines fail and scores of reporters are laid off across the country. Conventional wisdom says the Internet is to blame, but veteran journalists and media critics Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols disagree. The crisis of American journalism predates the Great Recession and digital media boom. What we are witnessing now is the end of the commercial news model and the opportune moment for the creation of a new system of independent journalism, one subsidized by the public and capable of safeguarding our democracy.
Celebrants and skeptics alike have produced valuable analyses of the Internet's effect on us and our world, oscillating between utopian bliss and dystopian hell. But according to Robert W. McChesney, arguments on both sides fail to address the relationship between economic power and the digital world.McChesney's award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age, incorporating capitalism into the heart of his analysis. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems, and other policies and massive indirect subsidies have made the Internet a place of numbing commercialism. A small handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners an astonishing 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world's computers. This capitalistic colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism, and made the Internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance, and a disturbingly anti-democratic force.In Digital Disconnect Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking analysis and critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.
Fresh from the first $10 billion election campaign, two award-winning authors show how unbridled campaign spending defines our politics and, failing a dramatic intervention, signals the end of our democracy. Blending vivid reporting from the 2012 campaign trail and deep perspective from decades covering American and international media and politics, political journalist John Nichols and media critic Robert W. McChesney explain how US elections are becoming controlled, predictable enterprises that are managed by a new class of consultants who wield millions of dollars and define our politics as never before. As the money gets bigger--especially after the Citizens United ruling--and journalism, a core check and balance on the government, declines, American citizens are in danger of becoming less informed and more open to manipulation. With groundbreaking behind-the-scenes reporting and staggering new research on "the money power," Dollarocracy shows that this new power does not just endanger electoral politics; it is a challenge to the DNA of American democracy itself.
Fresh from the first $10 billion election campaign, two award-winning authors show how unbridled campaign spending defines our politics and, failing a dramatic intervention, signals the end of our democracy.Blending vivid reporting from the 2012 campaign trail and deep perspective from decades covering American and international media and politics, political journalist John Nichols and media critic Robert W. McChesney explain how US elections are becoming controlled, predictable enterprises that are managed by a new class of consultants who wield millions of dollars and define our politics as never before. As the money gets bigger-especially after the Citizens United ruling-and journalism, a core check and balance on the government, declines, American citizens are in danger of becoming less informed and more open to manipulation. With groundbreaking behind-the-scenes reporting and staggering new research on "the money power," Dollarocracy shows that this new power does not just endanger electoral politics; it is a challenge to the DNA of American democracy itself.
Microradio and Democracy discusses the role of citizen access to communications in a democratic society, and how diversity, localism, and core political speech are undermined by corporate control of the public airwaves. Ruggiero examines the emergence of microradio activism in recent court cases, and the links between the microradio struggle and larger movements for democracy and social justice. Illustrated with photos and graphics, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned about keeping free speech for communities, not corporations.
Our Media, Not Theirs! The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media examines how the current media system in the United States undermines democracy, and what we can do to change it. McChesney and Nichols begin by detailing how the media system has come to be dominated by a handful of transnational conglomerates that use their immense political and economic power to saturate the population with commercial messages. Further, the authors provide an analysis of the burgeoning media reform activities in the United States, and outline ways we can structurally change the media system through coalition work and movement-building: the tools we need in order to battle for a better media.
McChesney and Nichols provide much evidence that we may be in 'the early stages of a serious social movement,' for which democratization of the media will be a central focus of discussion, activism, and reconstruction. They make a powerful case in support of these priorities, and suggest paths that can be followed to lay these foundations for recovering rights, and carrying forward the endless struggle for freedom and justice.
The consequence of the technological revolution is about to hit hard: employment opportunities will collapse across the board as new technologies replace labor. Moribund capitalism and talk of market solutions won't answer this crisis. In this brave new world, the power of the people to demand a smarter and more humane economic and environmental policy will be diminished as fear trumps reason and surrender replaces hope. Unless the tremendous benefits of technological progress are employed to serve the whole of humanity, rather than to enrich a handful of monopolists, the social contract will not be undermined--it will be broken. Americans cannot let corporate CEOs and billionaire campaign donors define their future. People Get Ready reveals that the choices made in the next few years will decide not just how technology is utilized and how economies are organized, but whether democracy will cease to function in any meaningful sense. This book, by two of America's leading champions of Net Neutrality and efforts to close the digital divide, links an urgent call for action with an outline of what must be done to move from crisis to hope. John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney argue that the United States needs a new economy in which the benefits of revolutionary technologies are shared by everyone, applied to effectively address environmental and social problems, and used to rejuvenate and extend democratic institutions and practices. Traveling the world, meeting with top innovators in the tech industry, and moving from the cloistered confines of Google's Mountain View complex in California to the city streets where fast-food workers march for a living wage, the authors chronicle the effects of the tech revolution on the ground and in real time. With fearless analysis and their typically clairvoyant predictive powers, they propose a bold strategy for fighting back and democratizing our digital destiny--before it's too late.
First published to great acclaim in 2000, Rich Media, Poor Democracy is Robert W. McChesney's magnum opus. Called a "rich, penetrating study" by Noam Chomsky, the book is a meticulously researched exposition of how U.S. media and communication empires are threatening effective democratic governance. What happens when a few conglomerates dominate all major aspects of mass media, from newspapers and magazines to radio and broadcast television? Since the publication of this prescient work, which won Harvard's Goldsmith Book Prize and the Kappa Tau Alpha Research Award, the concentration of media power and the resultant "hypercommercialization of culture" has only intensified.McChesney lays out his vision for what a truly democratic society might look like, offering compelling suggestions for how the media can be reformed as part of a broader program of democratic renewal. Rich Media, Poor Democracy remains as vital and insightful as ever and continues to serve as an important resource for researchers, students, and anyone who has a stake in the transformation of our digital commons.This new edition includes a major new preface by McChesney, where he offers both a history of the transformation in media since the book first appeared; a sweeping account of the organized efforts to reform the media system; and the ongoing threats to our democracy as journalism has continued its sharp decline.
In this myth-breaking book, McChesney argues that the media, far from providing a bedrock for freedom and democracy, have become a significant anti-democratic force in the United States and, to varying degrees, worldwide.
The sudden meltdown of the news media has sparked one of the liveliest debates in recent memory, with an outpouring of opinion and analysis crackling across journals, the blogosphere, and academic publications. Yet, until now, we have lacked a comprehensive and accessible introduction to this new and shifting terrain.In Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights, celebrated media analysts Robert W. McChesney and Victor Pickard have assembled thirty-two illuminating pieces on the crisis in journalism, revised and updated for this volume. Featuring some of today's most incisive and influential commentators, this comprehensive collection contextualizes the predicament faced by the news media industry through a concise history of modern journalism, a hard-hitting analysis of the structural and financial causes of news media's sudden collapse, and deeply informed proposals for how the vital role of journalism might be rescued from impending disaster.Sure to become the essential guide to the journalism crisis, Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights is both a primer on the news media today and a chronicle of a key historical moment in the transformation of the press.