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Commercial Culture : The Media System and the Public Interest - Leo Bogart

Commercial Culture

The Media System and the Public Interest

Paperback Published: 31st August 2000
ISBN: 9780765806055
Number Of Pages: 416

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American mass media are the world's most diverse, rich, and free. Their dazzling resources, variety, and influence arouse envy in other countries. Their failures are commonly excused on the grounds that they are creatures of the market, that they give people what they want. Commercial Culture focuses not on the glories of the media, but on what is wrong with them and why, and how they may be made better.

This powerful critique of American mass communication highlights four trends that sound an urgent call for reform: the blurring of distinctions among traditional media and between individual and mass communication; the increasing concentration of media control in a disturbingly small number of powerful organizations; the shift from advertisers to consumers as the source of media revenues; and the growing confusion of information and entertainment, of the real and the imaginary. The future direction of the media, Leo Bogart contends, should not be left to market forces alone. He shows how the public's appetite for media differs from other demands the market is left to satisfy because of how profoundly the media shape the public's character and values. Bogart concludes that a world of new communications technology requires a coherent national media policy, respectful of the American tradition of free expression and subject to vigorous public scrutiny and debate.

Commercial Culture is a comprehensive analysis of the media as they evolve in a technological age. It will appeal to general readers interested in mass communications, as well as professionals and scholars studying American mass media.

-Drawing upon both an immense experience and focused social science research, Leo Bogart has long been our premier social critic of the mass media. Commercial Culture is by all odds the most deeply informed and telling critique of mass culture in this timid time of political correctitude.-

--Robert K. Merton, Columbia University -This remarkably readable, clear-sighted book thoroughly surveys the vast landscape of commercial media, both print and electronic. Leo Bogart's intelligent insights and sound proposals for change reflect a unique combination of scholarly research and years of practical experience on the frontline of the newspaper, advertising, and television wars.-

--Lawrence K. Grossman, former president, NBC News and PBS "Drawing upon both an immense experience and focused social science research, Leo Bogart has long been our premier social critic of the mass media. Commercial Culture is by all odds the most deeply informed and telling critique of mass culture in this timid time of political correctitude."

--Robert K. Merton, Columbia University "This remarkably readable, clear-sighted book thoroughly surveys the vast landscape of commercial media, both print and electronic. Leo Bogart's intelligent insights and sound proposals for change reflect a unique combination of scholarly research and years of practical experience on the frontline of the newspaper, advertising, and television wars."

--Lawrence K. Grossman, former president, NBC News and PBS "Drawing upon both an immense experience and focused social science research, Leo Bogart has long been our premier social critic of the mass media. Commercial Culture is by all odds the most deeply informed and telling critique of mass culture in this timid time of political correctitude."

--Robert K. Merton, Columbia University "This remarkably readable, clear-sighted book thoroughly surveys the vast landscape of commercial media, both print and electronic. Leo Bogart's intelligent insights and sound proposals for change reflect a unique combination of scholarly research and years of practical experience on the frontline of the newspaper, advertising, and television wars."

--Lawrence K. Grossman, former president, NBC News and PBS

Preface to the Transaction Editionp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xxvii
Introductionp. 3
Fundamentals
What Are "The Media?"p. 15
The Notion of "Media"p. 15
Information and Entertainmentp. 17
Media as Pastimep. 20
Why Media Unify and Differentiatep. 22
Literacy, Leisure, and the Origins of the Media Systemp. 24
Packaging Ongoing and One-Shot Mediap. 27
The Media Systemp. 33
How Media Interpenetratep. 34
Competition and the Media Systemp. 40
The Growth of Multimedia Enterprisep. 40
The Concentration of Media Powerp. 45
Globalizationp. 49
Synergy, Software, and Conflicts of Interestp. 51
The Changed Goals of Media Managementp. 54
Pressures for Profit: The Book Businessp. 56
Newspaper Chainsp. 58
The Marxist Explanationp. 60
Advertising as the Driving Force
The Presence of Advertisingp. 65
Media and the Culture of Consumptionp. 65
Advertising as a Component of Commercial Culturep. 68
Only in America?p. 70
Historical Originsp. 74
Messages, Messagesp. 76
Lies, Damned Lies, and Advertising Claimsp. 78
The Varieties of Advertisingp. 80
The Content of Television Commercialsp. 82
Politics, Media, Advertisingp. 86
Advertising and National Valuesp. 90
Paying the Piper, Calling the Tunep. 93
Corrupting the Newsp. 94
Content and Advertiser Sensitivitiesp. 99
Vigilantes, Boycotts, Self-Censorshipp. 101
Sponsorshipp. 103
Sponsors and Soap Operasp. 105
Televised Sportsp. 107
Producing Media Content to Serve Advertisersp. 108
Target Marketingp. 111
Advertising and Media Survivalp. 115
Advertising Dominance and Newspaper Survivalp. 117
Advertising by the Numbersp. 122
Managing the Advertising Functionp. 122
Scientism and the Concentration of Advertising Powerp. 126
Evaluating Advertising Performancep. 129
Research and the Computerp. 130
Research as an Instrument of Powerp. 133
The Problem with Surveysp. 135
The Tyranny of Audience Measurementp. 137
Beyond Statisticsp. 139
Flaws and Failures of Commercial Culture
The Pursuit of Sensationp. 143
Innocent--and Not-So-Innocent--Pleasuresp. 143
Are Sales the Measure of Success?p. 147
What is Good, True, or Beautiful?p. 148
One Culture, Two, or More?p. 150
Changing Standardsp. 152
Film in the Age of Televisionp. 153
Exploiting Eroticismp. 156
The Fictional World of Televisionp. 158
The Appeal of Violencep. 160
Media Experience and Media Substancep. 163
Media as Change Agentsp. 166
Measuring TV's Effectsp. 169
The News as Entertainmentp. 174
Information-Rich But Ignorantp. 175
Defining the Newsp. 176
Is the News a Bore?p. 179
Television as Intruderp. 183
The Newscaster as Celebrityp. 185
Politics as TV Spectaclep. 187
Faked News and Docudramap. 189
The Unreality of "Reality Television"p. 191
The Unique Functions of Newspapersp. 196
The Need for Press Competitionp. 198
Believing in the Make-Believep. 203
Fictions and Factsp. 204
Reconstructing Realityp. 205
Words Spoken and Writtenp. 206
History as Fictionp. 210
Journalism and Literaturep. 212
Pictures Do Not Lie?p. 214
Dynamics of Commercial Culture
The Manufacture of Tastep. 221
The Appeal of the Familiarp. 221
The Churning Audiencep. 224
Distributing and Promotingp. 225
Music and Musical Tastep. 229
Cynicism and Profitp. 231
The Taste-Moldersp. 234
Rationalizationp. 235
Selling Outp. 239
Managing Commercial Culturep. 247
Media Entrepreneurshipp. 248
Switching Careers and Switching Valuesp. 252
Media Tycoonsp. 253
The Media Habits of Media Executivesp. 257
The Public Interestp. 262
Media Support and Media Substancep. 266
Advertising's Dwindling Sharep. 266
Advertisers' Choices--and the Public'sp. 268
What If There Were No Advertising Support?p. 270
Ad-Supported Media and Othersp. 272
Fiction as Part of Everyday Lifep. 274
The Changed Economics of Televisionp. 280
Spectrum Scarcity and the Problem of Choicep. 283
Is There a Better Way?
Reform, Restructure, or Leave It Be?p. 287
Professionalism and Media Practicep. 288
The Need for Media Criticismp. 290
Should Choice Be Restricted?p. 294
Government and Culturep. 295
Political Power and Media Powerp. 298
Pressures on Public Broadcastingp. 301
Toward a National Media Policyp. 304
Media and the Sherman Actp. 308
The Politics of Telecommunications Policyp. 310
Media Content and Media Policyp. 316
Putting Media Issues on the National Agendap. 318
A Note on the Measurement of Expenditures on Mediap. 325
Notesp. 328
Indexp. 371
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765806055
ISBN-10: 0765806053
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 31st August 2000
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.63
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition