Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research

By Jennings Bryant; Dolf Zillmann | Go to book overview

Preface
Preface
Dolf Zillmann

We hope that your responses to the chapters that make up the second edition of Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research are similar to ours when we initially read the material as draft chapters. Obviously, an editor's evaluation of any foot-tall stack of chapter manuscripts is iterative and cumulative. In this instance, as the pile of unread, unedited drafts shrank, and the stack of edited manuscripts grew, we became happier and happier—and not entirely because the end of the arduous editing task was at hand. The bulk of our euphoria can more accurately be attributed to our convergent appraisals of the chapters: “This is undoubtedly the finest set of chapters we have ever had the opportunity to edit!”

To our wonderful contributors, who individually and collectively went the extra mile to ensure that each chapter is a work of art, we are exceedingly grateful. To our book adopters and readers, let us assure you that the contributors have presented not only the state of the art in their respective areas of expertise in media effects but also the art of the state.

Depending on how you count it, this is either the second or third edition of Media Effects. First there was Perspectives on Media Effects (1986), the progenitor of the clan. Designed primarily as a scholarly volume and reference text, the 16-chapter Perspectives received rather widespread adoption as a textbook. Therefore, when we updated the volume, we revised it considerably to better accommodate classroom use, and the offspring was renamed Media Effects: Advances in Theory and Research (1994). But, despite the name change, Media Effects owed much to its direct ancestor, including its 16-chapter format.

Eight years later, when it was time (or, as some adopters have suggested, long beyond time) to edit a new edition, we found it impossible to limit Media Effects to 16 chapters; in fact, we found it incredibly difficult to limit the volume to the 22 chapters you hold in your hands. Why? Media effects is a burgeoning field. Moreover, as new research domains have emerged and their traditions have matured, few have withered and died. It's an editor's and publisher's nightmare! On the other hand, the bounty of research certainly qualifies as marked progress in this important area of

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