Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method

Article excerpt

Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method. Jennifer Holt and Alisa Perren, eds. Maiden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. 283 pp. $104.95 hbk. $41.95 pbk.

Offering twenty original scholarly essays, this anthology provides a solid collection of recent surveys of various media industries, melding description, analysis, and even some predictions. Collectively, they provide a sense of how "media industries" is fast becoming a recognized field of study in its own right - along with an idea of some of the work still necessary to make that happen.

The editors teach communication at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and George State University, respectively. They and their cast of contributors (many among them fairly senior scholars with impressive records) demonstrate the value of multidisciplinary studies by applying methods of anthropology, sociology, economics (and more specifically industrial analysis), political economy, cultural and policy studies - and even journalism.

The essays are arranged in four sections. "History" includes six papers on such topics as the problem and development of media historiography (by Michele Humes, a key practitioner of the art), archives and media studies, film industry studies, broadcast and cable TV networking advertising's role in radio-TV development, and new media and how they transform our concept of media history. A "Theory" section features five essays that turn to an articulation of media poUtical economy, thinking globaUy rather than simply nationally, in a chapter by Michael Curtin, a film studies professor at Santa Barbara who formerly directed the global studies program at the University of Wisconsin. Latin America is an example of regional media industry study; these authors also examine the concept of nation and media industries, and Mark Dueze of Indiana University writes on the modern convergence culture and media work. …