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Understanding Media in the Digital Age



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Written by two of the fieldrs"s most eminent experts, this exciting new introduction to mass media makes connections between communication research and the reality of the media industry. Understanding Media in the Digital Ageshows readers how to navigate the world of traditional and new media while fostering an understanding of mass communication theory, history, active research findings, and professional experience.

Author Biography

Everette E. Dennis is the Felix Larkin distinguished professor of media and entertainment industries at Fordham University in New York City where he heads the Center for Communication.  A noted author, foundation executive and institution builder he was founding director of the Media Studies Center at Columbia University, founding president of the American Academy in Berlin and author/coauthor of some 45 books on mass communication and media industries, including studies of digital strategies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Connections for Communication


Chapter 1: Understanding Communication Concepts in the Internet Age

         Studying Media Strategically

         The Interpersonal Communication Process

          The “Mass” Communication Process

        Comparing Face-to-Face and Mass Communication


Chapter 2: Navigating Change: The Rise of Digital and Global Media

            The Dawn of the Digital Age

            The Spread of Global Media


Part 2: Publishing


Chapter 3: Books: The First and Most Respected Mass Medium

            The Importance of Books as a Mass Medium

            Where did Books Come From?

            The Digital Future of Books: The Fourth Transition

            Between the Past and the Future: Book Publishing Today


Chapter 4: Newspapers and News Media: Delivering Information to Society

            The Importance of Newspapers as a News Medium

            Newspapers: The First Medium for the Mass Society

            Trends that Shaped Today’s Newspapers

            The Newspaper as a Contemporary Medium

            The Future of the Newspaper


Chapter 5: Magazines: Voices for Many Interests

            Distinguishing Magazines from Other Media

            The History of Magazines

            The Magazine Industry Today

            The Future of Magazines

            Magazines and the Digital Revolution


Part 3: Electronic and Visual Media


Chapter 6: Motion Pictures: The Great Entertainer

            The Development of Movie Technology

            The Movies Become a Medium

            Film as a Contemporary Medium

            The Movie Industry

            The Movie Audience


Chapter 7: Radio: The Resilient Medium

            The Development of Radio Technology

            Radio Becomes a Mass Medium

            The Golden Age of Radio

            The Challenge of Television

            Radio as a Contemporary Medium


Chapter 8: Television: The Most Influential Medium

            Cultural Influence of Television

            The Birth of Television

            The Period of Rapid Adoption

            Alternative to Broadcast Television

            The VCR and DVD

            Television as a Contemporary Medium


Part 4: Media Audiences, Services and Support


Chapter 9: News, Journalism, and Public Affairs

            News: The Information Function of the Press

            Encoding Strategies: Packaging the News

            Journalistic Styles

            Social and Cultural Influences on the News

            Social and Cultural Functions of the News


Chapter 10: Popular Culture: Entertainment, Sports, and Music

            The Nature and Importance of Popular Culture

            Popular Culture as Entertainment

            Entertainment Media and Popular Culture


Chapter 11: Advertising: Using Media in the Marketplace

            Advertising in America: A Brief History

            The Contemporary Advertising Industry

            Advertising as Persuasive Communication

            The Role of Advertising Research

            Criticism and Control of Advertising


C hapter 12: Public Relations: Influencing Beliefs, Attitudes, and Actions

            The Development of Public Relations

            Public Relations Settings and Activities

            Public Relations and the Media

            Lobbying as Public Relations

            Public Relations as an Emerging Profession

            The Future of the Field


Part 5: Media Issues and Influences


Chapter 13: Social Forces: Economics, Technology, and Policy

            An Interplay of Forces

            Searching for the Public Interest

            Denying the Business of Media

            Enter Media Economics

            Independence with Controls

            Political Protections: The Constitutional Framework

            Linchpins of Communication Law

            Trial by Media

            Moral Values: Obscenity and Pornography

            The Government’s Secrets during National Crises

            Political Constraints: The Agents of Control


Chapter 14: Media Effects: The Processes and Influences of Mass Communication

            Early Views on Media Influences

            Media Effects Research Begins

            Beyond the Magic Bullet: Selective and Limited Effects

            Audiences Use Media Content to Obtain Gratifications

            Television and Youth Violence

            Long-Term Influences on Society and Culture


Chapter 15: Ethics: Assessing Content and Behavior of the Media

            Media-wide Ethics Watch

            New Technology Challenges

            Dimensions of Ethics for the Media

            Distinguishing Ethics and Law

            Growing Concern over Media Ethics

            Media Criticism and Media Ethics

            Alternative Approaches to Ethics

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