The Digital Difference examines how the transition from the industrial-era media of one-way publishing and broadcasting to the two-way digital era of online search and social media has affected the dynamics of public life.
In the digital age, fundamental beliefs about privacy and identity are subject to change, as is the formal legal basis of freedom of expression. Will it be possible to maintain a vibrant and open marketplace of ideas? In W. Russell Neuman’s analysis, the marketplace metaphor does not signal that money buys influence, but rather just the opposite—that the digital commons must be open to all ideas so that the most powerful ideas win public attention on their merits rather than on the taken-for-granted authority of their authorship.
“Well-documented, methodical, provocative, and clear, The Digital Difference deserves a prominent place in communication proseminars and graduate courses in research methods because of its reorientation of media effects research and its application to media policy making.” —John P. Ferré, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Everything we know about what goes on in the world comes to us through reports, information transmitted through human communication. We rely on reports, which can take any number of forms, to convey useful information, and we derive knowledge from that information. It's no surprise, then, that reporting has many philosophical dimensions. Because it plays such a major role in knowledge management, as Nicholas Rescher argues, the epistemology of reporting not only deserves our attention but also sheds important light on how we understand the theory of knowledge. This book offers a clear, accessible introduction to the theory of reporting, with a special emphasis on national security, particularly military and diplomatic reporting, drawing on examples from historical accounts of espionage and statecraft from the Second World War. Rescher explores the various issues and problems related to the production and reception of reports—including reporter expertise and trustworthiness, transmission modalities, confidentiality, cognitive importance, and the interpretation, evaluation, and utilization of reports—providing readers with a distinctive and well organized philosophical clarification of some central features of the theory of reporting.
Eugene Debs (1855-1926) is regarded by many as American history's premier labor advocate. He was the leader of the Socialist party, five-time Socialist candidate for president, outspoken on the rights of all workers, and a persistent defender of America's democratic traditions.
Nick Salvatore's acclaimed biography offers a major reevaluation of Debs, the movements he launched, and his belief in American Socialism as an extension of the nation's democratic traditions. He also shows the relationship between Debs's public image and his private life as child, sibling, husband, and lover. Salvatore's Debs--weaknesses intact--emerges as a complex man, frustrated and angered by the glaring inequities of a new economic order, and willing to risk his freedom to preserve the essence of democratic society.
Hollywood Diplomacy contends that, rather than simply reflect the West’s cultural fantasies of an imagined “Orient,” images of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ethnicities have long been contested sites where the commercial interests of Hollywood studios and the political mandates of U.S. foreign policy collide, compete against one another, and often become compromised in the process. While tracing both Hollywood’s internal foreign relations protocols—from the “Open Door” policy of the silent era to the “National Feelings” provision of the Production Code—and external regulatory interventions by the Chinese government, the U.S. State Department, the Office of War Information, and the Department of Defense, Hye Seung Chung reevaluates such American classics as Shanghai Express and The Great Dictator and applies historical insights to the controversies surrounding contemporary productions including Die Another Day and The Interview. This richly detailed book redefines the concept of “creative freedom” in the context of commerce: shifting focus away from the artistic entitlement to offend foreign audiences toward the opportunity to build new, better relationships with partners around the world through diplomatic representations of race, ethnicity, and nationality.
The Indecent Screen explores clashes over indecency in broadcast television among U.S.-based media advocates, television professionals, the Federal Communications Commission, and TV audiences. Cynthia Chris focuses on the decency debates during an approximately twenty-year period since the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which in many ways restructured the media environment. Simultaneously, ever increasing channel capacity, new forms of distribution, and time-shifting (in the form of streaming and on-demand viewing options) radically changed how, when, and what we watch. But instead of these innovations quelling concerns that TV networks were too often transmitting indecent material that was accessible to children, complaints about indecency skyrocketed soon after the turn of the century. Chris demonstrates that these clashes are significant battles over the role of family, the role of government, and the value of free speech in our lives, arguing that an uncensored media is so imperative to the public good that we can, and must, endure the occasional indecent screen.
Multilingualism is an ever-present feature in political contexts around the world, including multilingual states and international organizations. Increasingly, consequential political decisions are negotiated between politicians who do not share a common native language. Nils Ringe uses the European Union to investigate how politicians’ reliance on shared foreign languages and translation services affects politics and policy-making. Ringe's research illustrates how multilingualism is an inherent and consequential feature of EU politics—that it depoliticizes policy-making by reducing its political nature and potential for conflict. An atmosphere with both foreign language use and a reliance on translation leads to communication that is simple, utilitarian, neutralized, and involves commonly shared phrases and expressions. Policymakers tend to disregard politically charged language and they are constrained in their ability to use vague or ambiguous language to gloss over disagreements by the need for consistency across languages.
In recent years, China 's leaders have taken decisive action to transform information, communications, and technology (ICT) into the nation's next pillar industry. In Networking China , Yu Hong offers an overdue examination of that burgeoning sector's political economy. Hong focuses on how the state, in conjunction with market forces and class interests, is constructing and realigning its digitalized sector. State planners intend to build a more competitive ICT sector by modernizing the network infrastructure, corporatizing media-and-entertainment institutions, and by using ICT as a crosscutting catalyst for innovation, industrial modernization, and export upgrades. The goal: to end China's industrial and technological dependence upon foreign corporations while transforming itself into a global ICT leader. The project, though bright with possibilities, unleashes implications rife with contradiction and surprise. Hong analyzes the central role of information, communications, and culture in Chinese-style capitalism. She also argues that the state and elites have failed to challenge entrenched interests or redistribute power and resources, as promised. Instead, they prioritize information, communications, and culture as technological fixes to make pragmatic tradeoffs between economic growth and social justice.
New Deal Radio examines the federal government's involvement in broadcasting during the New Deal period, looking at the U.S. Office of Education's Educational Radio Project. The fact that the United States never developed a national public broadcaster, has remained a central problem of US broadcasting history. Rather than ponder what might have been, authors Joy Hayes and David Goodman look at what did happen. There was in fact a great deal of government involvement in broadcasting in the US before 1945 at local, state, and federal levels. Among the federal agencies on the air were the Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Federal Theatre Project.
Contextualizing the different series aired by the Educational Radio Project as part of a unified project about radio and citizenship is crucial to understanding them. New Deal Radio argues that this distinctive government commercial partnership amounted to a critical intervention in US broadcasting and an important chapter in the evolution of public radio in America.
Simulating Good and Evil shows that the moral panic surrounding violent videogames is deeply misguided, and often politically motivated, but that games are nevertheless morally important. Simulated actions are morally defensible because they take place outside the real world and do not inflict real harms. Decades of research purporting to show that videogames are immoral has failed to produce convincing evidence of this. However, games are morally important because they simulate decisions that would have moral weight if they were set in the real world. Videogames should be seen as spaces in which players may experiment with moral reasoning strategies without taking any actions that would themselves be subject to moral evaluation. Some videogame content may be upsetting or offensive, but mere offense does not necessarily indicate a moral problem. Upsetting content is best understood by applying existing theories for evaluating political ideologies and offensive speech.
The People’s Republic of China began the 21st century with a new-and-improved public relations approach that was meant to counter anxieties about China’s role in the world while simultaneously showcasing its leadership’s policies to a domestic audience. Crucial to this communication strategy have been networked spectacles: elaborate mass events, designed to reconfigure organizations, ideas, and relations between people. In Staging China, Florian Schneider analyzes large-scale projects like the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo to show how such spectacles became part of the ruling party’s governance toolkit under Hu Jintao’s leadershi, and how their legacy informs politics and political communication in China to this day.
The Synchronized Society traces the history of the synchronous broadcast experience of the twentieth century and the transition to the asynchronous media that dominate today. Broadcasting grew out of the latent desire by nineteenth-century industrialists, political thinkers, and social reformers to tame an unruly society by controlling how people used their time. The idea manifested itself in the form of the broadcast schedule, a managed flow of information and entertainment that required audiences to be in a particular place – usually the home – at a particular time and helped to create “water cooler” moments, as audiences reflected on their shared media texts. Audiences began disconnecting from the broadcast schedule at the end of the twentieth century, but promoters of social media and television services still kept audiences under control, replacing the schedule with surveillance of media use. Author Randall Patnode offers compelling new insights into the intermingled roles of broadcasting and industrial/post-industrial work and how Americans spend their time.
We live in an age saturated with surveillance. Our personal and public lives are increasingly on display for governments, merchants, employers, hackers—and the merely curious—to see. In Windows into the Soul, Gary T. Marx, a central figure in the rapidly expanding field of surveillance studies, argues that surveillance itself is neither good nor bad, but that context and comportment make it so.
In this landmark book, Marx sums up a lifetime of work on issues of surveillance and social control by disentangling and parsing the empirical richness of watching and being watched. Using fictional narratives as well as the findings of social science, Marx draws on decades of studies of covert policing, computer profiling, location and work monitoring, drug testing, caller identification, and much more, Marx gives us a conceptual language to understand the new realities and his work clearly emphasizes the paradoxes, trade-offs, and confusion enveloping the field. Windows into the Soul shows how surveillance can penetrate our social and personal lives in profound, and sometimes harrowing, ways. Ultimately, Marx argues, recognizing complexity and asking the right questions is essential to bringing light and accountability to the darker, more iniquitous corners of our emerging surveillance society.