Saturday, March 15, 2008

The (New) Media Monopoly

One last useful rant before Holy Week begins. (Though who says we forego wordly concerns during Holy Week? On the contrary, if Christ entered the suffering of the world, so too should we.)

Several of my bloggy friends have been complaining, and rightly so, that Big Media is not paying attention to important matters. Well, guess who wrote the book on Big Media, way back?

The wonderful Ben Bagdikian, that's who. I had the pleasure of studying with him at UC-Berkeley during my doctoral studies at the GTU (there is a cross-registration agreement beween the two schools), and I told him he was the liberation theologian of media studies. Others have written in a similar vein since, e.g. Robert McChesney, but Bagdikian is the granddaddy of them all. He first wrote The Media Monopoly in 1983, and it was in its fifth edition when I sat at his feet to study ca. 1998.

Now I see there is a new edition, so new that it has a new title, The New Media Monopoly.

Ben has been watching this scene and warning us for decades. Don't say no one had sounded the alarm. God bless 'im. (He is getting on in years, by the way --he is of my parents' generation, and they are collegial friends-- so a little prayer wouldn't hurt either, though he is a fervent mostly-secular humanist --being a PK will often head you in that direction--, so make those respectful prayers. Lovely bio and autobiographical statement here.) Wonderful man. Superb journalist and researcher. A treasure.

Read the book. I'm going to order a copy of that new-new edition next month. (The big car trouble bill this month has eaten up all the book money I had been saving, waaaah.)

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