Media Reading List

Manufacturing Consent

Noam Chomskyand Edward Herman, Pantheon
Contrary to the usual image of the press as cantankerous, obstinate and ubiquitous in its search for truth, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky depict how an underlying elite consensus largely structures all facets of the news.

The Media Monopoly

Ben Bagdikian, Beacon Press
When the first edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 1983, critics called Ben Bagdikian’s warnings about the chilling effects of corporate ownership and mass advertising on the nation’s news “alarmist.”

Necessary Illusions

Thought Control in Democratic Societies 
Noam Chomsky
This is an essential introduction to the “propaganda model” of media analysis. Chomsky offers a message of hope, reminding us that resistance is possible, necessary and effective.

Rich Media, Poor Democracy

Robert McChesney, Univ of Illinois
The book exposes several myths about the media–in particular that the market compels media firms to “give people what they want.” If we value our democracy, McChesney warns, we must organize politically to restructure the media in order to reaffirm their connection to democracy.

The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media

Norman Solomon, Common Courage
With a focus on “decoding spin and lies in mainstream news,” Solomon looks at how centralized media power routinely skews media coverage of key issues in favor of corporate interests  and militaristic foreign policies.

Writing Dissent

Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream

Robert Jensen, Peter Lang
Jensen’s book combines analysis of media and radical politics with practical advice on how to write and place critical opinion pieces on the pages of mainstream newspapers.

The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting

David Barsamian, South End
Foreword by Amy Goodman
Concentration of the media has reached new heights, making it harder for alternative and critical voices to gain a hearing. Market pressures increasingly have encroached on the original mission of public broadcasting, which was to “provide a voice for groups that may otherwise be unheard.” 
“We are subjected to programming that is vacuumed of content, that presents a range of opinion from A to B, from GE to GM,” Barsamian writes.

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