A Social History of Contemporary Democratic Media by Jesse Drew

By Jesse Drew

The previous few many years have helped dispel the parable that media may still stay pushed via high-end execs and marketplace proportion. This booklet places ahead the idea that of "communications from under" not like the "globalization from above" that characterizes many new advancements in overseas association and media practices. through reading the social and technological roots that effect present media evolution, Drew permits readers to appreciate not just the Youtubes and Facebooks of this present day, yet to count on the trajectory of the applied sciences to return.

Beginning with a glance on the inherent weaknesses of the U.S. broadcasting version of mass media, Drew outlines the early Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies experiments in grassroots media, the place artists and activists started to re-engineer digital applied sciences to focus on neighborhood groups and underserved audiences. From those neighborhood initiatives emerged nationwide and foreign communications initiatives, developing creation versions, social networks and citizen expectancies that might problem conventional technique of digital media and cultural construction. Drew’s point of view places the social and cultural use of the consumer on the middle, no longer the actual media shape. hence the constitution of the ebook makes a speciality of the neighborhood, the nationwide, and the worldwide wish for communications, whatever the means.

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Like many products of public funding, American businesses seek to take advantage of publicly financed research and development, and when given evidence of the clear feasibility of profit-making, they seek to “spin off” the product and take it into their own profit-making enterprise. Although US businesses like to portray their leading figures as risk takers and innovators, business leaders do not like to take risks when those risks can be financed by public dollars. The Internet was publicly financed when it took its first risky steps; it is now overwhelmingly a private domain.

AT&T, a player in broadcasting from the very beginning with its long-lines links between broadcasting stations, plays a major role in providing telecommunications support, high-speed data lines, and fiber optic links for global networks. Westinghouse, an original manufacturer of radio and consumer electronics, had owned the CBS network before being folded into the Viacom Corporation. These industrial interests, whether or not they function under their old names or their new ones, want the Internet to follow in the footprints of other media technologies, such as radio and television, and to become primarily a delivery system for commercialism, consumerism, and entertainment, not to mention a powerful medium to promote corporate ideology.

TV frequencies are at a higher range and occupy much larger portions of the bandwidth. Frequencies useful for microwave and satellite communications are generally found higher up on the spectrum, usually in the gigahertz range. Although the air above us may look like clear sky, it is an essential conduit for communications technologies. Legal scholars point out that the spectrum is unusual in that “[u]tilization does not use it up or wear it out. It does not require continual maintenance to remain usable.

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