Academic journal article Journalism History

Inside the BBC and CNN: Managing Media Organisations

Academic journal article Journalism History

Inside the BBC and CNN: Managing Media Organisations

Article excerpt

Kung-Shankleman, Lucy. Inside the BBC and CNN: Managing Media Organisations. London: Routledge, 2000. 245 pp. $20.99.

Inside the BBC and CNN is a postmodern study of how culture affects strategy in the two organizations and how their respective cultures respond to change in strategic directions. On its face, it is not a historical study nor does it pretend to be, which is not to say that a historian of international broadcasting might not find useful insights into the functioning of the two broadcasting giants at the time the research was conducted in 1994-95.

This is not a book for casual readers. It takes too much effort to access the information. First, the book's first three chapters explore the theoretical background for "organization culture," the environmental context of the organizations under study, and an exploration of the fragmentation of the mass paradigm. The introduction suggests that readers interested in the organizations skip directly to chapter 4.

There the reader at last encounters a chapter about the development of the BBC, followed by a chapter on Ted Turner and CNN. The rest of the book repeats this pattern, alternating a chapter about the BBC with a chapter on CNN. There is no attempt to balance the analyses or compare the organizations, however. The author also notes in the introduction that the BBC gets more attention than CNN because of its comparatively longer life span. …

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