If you have ever been to my website you will know that I have been reading Manufacturing Consent for an unreasonably long time.
Well, today I finally finished it. A fascinating, albeit not terribly fun, read, the book has left me with thoughts to chew on that are strangely appropriate for the times considering our war in Iraq and the threat of continued media consolidation. An excerpt:
"In essence, the private media are major corporations selling a product (readers and audiences) to other businesses (advertisers). The national media typically target and serve elite opinion, groups that, on the one hand, provide an optimal "profile" for advertising purposes, and, on the other, play a role in decision-making in the private and public spheres. The national media would be failing to meet their audience's needs if they did not present a tolerably realistic portrayal of the world. But their "societal purpose" also requires that the media's interpretation of the world reflect the interests and concerns of the sellers, the buyers, and the governmental and private institutions dominated by these groups."
"The media are indeed free—for those who adopt the principles required for their "societal purpose."
I am finally starting in on a new book, one that would please BitterTree to no end I'm sure: The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
If I can find my way out of a persistant malaise that seems to be going around then I may put all this information to good use. I simply don't have the energy or desire for new creative endeavors at this point.