Stephen Harper: Beyond the Left: The Communist Critique of the Media (2012)

21 December 2012, dusan

Attacking the cherished assumptions of liberal media criticism, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.

The ideological distortions of the conservative media, from Fox News to the Daily Mail, are widely acknowledged and often denounced among contemporary critics and commentators. But what if The Guardian newspaper and BBC news, in fact, constitute the most insidious forms of capitalist propaganda? In a wide-ranging and erudite polemic, Beyond the Left analyses capitalist news and current affairs media from a radical perspective. The book rejects the liberal and pluralist paradigms that often underpin critiques of the media, showing how media texts reflect and reinforce the material interests of the ruling class and arguing that the principal ideological menace today is posed not by the right wing, but by the left-liberal media, as it co-opts and obscures radical political positions and reinforces a range of mystifications, from anti-fascism and humanitarian war to green politics. Drawing on the work of radical media critics as well as the writings of revolutionary communist groups and considering the recent reporting of war, industrial action, immigration and the environment, Beyond the Left updates and recharges the Marxist critique of the media.

Publisher Zero Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing, 2012
ISBN 1846949769, 9781846949760
114 pages

review (Laura Cooke, Socialist Review)

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Christian Fuchs: Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies (2011)

22 October 2011, dusan

Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies lays down foundations for the analysis of media, information, and information technology in 21st century information society, as well as introducing the theoretical and empirical tools necessary for the critical study of media and information. Christian Fuchs shows the role classical critical theory can play for analyzing the information society and the information economy, as well as analyzing the role of the media and the information economy in economic development, the new imperialism, and the new economic crisis. The book critically discusses transformations of the Internet (‘web 2.0’), introduces the notion of alternative media as critical media, and shows the critical role media and information technology can play in contemporary society.

This book provides an excellent introduction to the study of media, information technology, and information society, making it a valuable reference tool for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of subjects such as Media Studies, Sociology of Media, Social Theory, and New Media.

Publisher Routledge, 2011
Routledge Advances in Sociology series
ISBN 1136825312, 9781136825316
384 pages

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Jacques Ellul: Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1962/1973)

31 August 2011, dusan

“A far more frightening work than any of the nightmare novels of George Orwell. With the logic which is the great instrument of French thought, [Ellul] explores and attempts to prove the thesis that propaganda, whether its ends are demonstrably good or bad, is not only destructive to democracy, it is perhaps the most serious threat to humanity operating in the modern world.” –Los Angeles Times

Originally published in French as Propagandes by A. Colin, Paris, 1962.
Translated by Konrad Kellen and Jean Lerner
With an introduction by Konrad Kellen
Publisher Vintage Books, Random House, New York, 1973 (reprint of the Alfred A. Knopf 1965 edition)
Vintage political science and social criticism
ISBN 0394718747, 9780394718743
332 pages

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PDF (updated on 2012-7-17)