The first paperback edition of a myth-breaking book on media, from one of today's most reputable and insightful media historian/critics. Winner of Harvard's Goldsmith Book Prize, Rich Media, Poor Democracy challenges the assumption that a society ...
society drenched in commercial information "choices" is a democratic one. Robert McChesney, whom Marc Crispin Miller calls "the greatest of our media historians," argues that the major beneficiaries of the so-called Information Age are wealthy investors, advertisers, and a handful of enormous media, computer, and telecommunications corporations. This concentrated corporate control, McChesney maintains, is disastrous for any notion of participatory democracy. Combining unprecedented detail on current events with historical sweep, in a book Noam Chomsky calls a "rich and penetrating study," McChesney chronicles the waves of media mergers and acquisitions in the late 1990s. He reviews the corrupt and secretive enactment of public policies surrounding the internet, digital television, and public broadcasting. He also addresses the gradual and ominous adaptation of the First Amendment as a means of shielding corporate media power and the wealthy, and he debunks the myth that the market compels media firms to "give the people what they want." In an eye-opening call to action, McChesney warns that we must organize politically to restructure the media if we want democracy to endure.