Books -- Mass Media 94/95 Edited by Joan Gorham

Article excerpt

Gorham, Joan, ed. (1994). Mass Media 94/95. Guilford, Conn.: The Dushkin Publishing Group. 244 pp. Paperback, $11.95.

This is the newest addition to a series of some 60 annual volumes for teachers of subjects ranging from aging to world politics. Mass Media 94/95, edited by a West Virginia University communications professor, reflects sensitivity to what teachers of the mass communications survey course want in a supplemental reader.

The editor and a 12-member advisory board promise annual updates and "convenient, low-cost access to a wide range of current, carefully selected articles from [more than 300] of the most important magazines, newspapers, and journals published today."

This edition offers 47 articles from 24 periodicals and excerpts from six books. Selections range from a one-page TVGuide item on "The Simpsons" to a 10-page Ms. article on advertising to a 15-page entry from the Journal of Communication on media responsibility and violent programming. Most periodicals are represented by single articles, but someone must love Time; it's the source far 17 selections.

The articles on contemporary topics reflect an electronic-media bias and stress the media's sociological, rather than institutional, impact. The nine " content theme" units cover media (i.e. television effects, the influence of advertising, media power, legal restraints, ethics, media impact on politics, the news media, and the impact of the entertainment media (again, TV). …