Academic journal article et Cetera

Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives

Academic journal article et Cetera

Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives

Article excerpt

Todd Gitlin. Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives. New York: Metropolitan, 2002. This book explores a wide range of media, from video games to elevator music, action movies to reality shows, billboards to waiting-room TV, and punditry to Internet exhibitionism, to evoke a world of relentless sensation, instant transition, and continuous stimulation. Its author, Todd Gitlin, shows how, in their nonstop quest for novelty, the media foster distraction and inattention; how "all-media, all-the-time" promotes celebrity cults, paranoia, and irony; and how any attempt to fend off media becomes the occasion for more media. Rather than an unambiguously positive "new information age," Gitlin believes the media frenzy encourages disposable emotions and casual commitments, and threatens the development of an informed electorate.

Gitlin, a New York University professor and the author of Inside Prime Time, The Twilight of Common Dreams, and six more books, argues that when it comes to media analysis we see the trees but not the forest. …

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