Macromedia: Mission, Message and Morality

Ralph L. Lowenstein

John C. Merrill

When one first picks up this book the impression formed is that it is relatively brief. However, as one examines it more carefully and begins to read it, such initial judgments are rapidly seen to be false, as it contains 22 thoughtfully written chapters, an excellent annotated bibliography, and a very complete index. At just over 300 pages, it is a book of substance.

The authors, Ralph Lowenstein & John Merrill, have well-deserved reputations as scholars, and in this book they put their considerable talents to work crafting an introductory text which is designed to be appealing to students. Thankfully, the authors have not succumbed to the new marketing strategy which seems to dictate that virtually every page must be broken up with tables, figures, cartoons, and photos. While there are pertinent and judiciously placed tables and figures, it is the thoroughness of organization and lively writing style employed by the authors which will engage students' attention.

Virtually every topic that one might wish to have discussed in an introductory course in mass media is covered. For example, there are chapters on the nature of communication, its historical development, specific characteristics of each mass medium (print, electronic and advertising), barriers to communication, media criticism, press freedom, media ethics, and propaganda. Individual chapters are relatively brief (10 to 16 pages) and tend to begin with a thought-provoking generalization; for example, "Does the mushrooming of information really help us to live better lives, react more humanely toward other persons, or understand better the world around us?" (p. 5). Chapters move on to discuss major concepts and controversies within the subject area and conclude with a series of "afterthoughts," in the form of questions which can be used either to generate class discussion or as essay or research topics.

Macromedia is a text written by two pre-eminent scholars with students in mind. They have succeeded in presenting important and complex matters in an engaging way. The book has a great deal to offer as a text in any introductory mass communication course.



  •  Announcements
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo
  •  Current Issue
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo
  •  Thesis Abstracts
    Atom logo
    RSS2 logo
    RSS1 logo

We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

SSHRC LOGO