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From Critical Perspectives to Media Reform: A Review of Three Books
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
Number of Authors: 1
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Communication, ISSN 1932-8036, E-ISSN 1932-8036, Vol. 10, 5989-5992 p.Article, book review (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The 2015 decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify broadband Internet services and pass network neutrality rules marks a major media reform victory in the United States. Media and communications policy in the United States has traditionally been dominated by industry interests (Freedman, 2008; McChesney, 1990; Pickard, 2015), and this FCC decision put the public interest over that of major U.S. Internet service providers. While the victory is a testament to the advocacy efforts of U.S. media reform organizations, left unclear is the degree to which it will open up possibilities for greater structural reform, which, for the three books reviewed here, is of paramount concern.

These three books bridge critical perspectives on media and communications policy by investigating the labor of media reform advocates. The second edition of Misunderstanding the Internet, coauthored by James Curran, Natalie Fenton, and Des Freedman, demonstrates how the structural foundations of the Internet limit its capacity to be a transformative force and instead allow it to perpetuate existing power structures. The Contradictions of Media Powerby Des Freedman provides a theoretical lens for understanding media power in the UK and United States and illuminates how existing power structures can be challenged. Strategies for Media Reform: International Perspectives, edited by Des Freedman, Jonathan Obar, Cheryl Martens, and Robert W. McChesney, brings together chapters from 33 scholars and activists who provide contemporary examples of methods used for achieving media reform. These books share a common frame, drawing from Rosa Luxemburg’s distinction between reform versus revolution, and argue that shifting media power from commercial actors to the public interest requires structural reforms that address industry dominance of political process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 10, 5989-5992 p.
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-139339ISI: 000391235200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-139339DiVA: diva2:1073337
Available from: 2017-02-10 Created: 2017-02-10 Last updated: 2017-02-10Bibliographically approved

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