AMERICA'S MASS MEDIA MERCHANTS by William H. Read

AMERICA'S MASS MEDIA MERCHANTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

One can find Marcus Welby in Malaysia or the Reader's Digest topping the circulation list all around the world: American mass media are ubiquitous, and Read's discussion of their establishment and influence abroad confirms it. For both print and visual media, exports are profitable, frequently accompanied by tax benefits. Although more foreigners now love Kojak than Lucy--and see the US accordingly --exposure to American lifestyles causes more serious problems, nourishing unrealistic expectations among Third World peoples and challenging, as Servan-Schreiber says, European political constructs. Read follows the increased use of Hollywood and TV films and the growth of the print media in other countries--specifically the wire services, newsweeklies, the International Herald Tribune, and RD. None of these chronologies is especially penetrating, and although he brings up the charge of ""cultural imperialism,"" he only skims the broad surface of its implications. A former news executive and director for Voice of America, Read notes the resistance of other countries to the endless availability of American ""information,"" then cites a Columbia University propaganda study to prove that mass media alone can only ""canalize""--not change--values. A serious presentation of an important subject, but descriptive rather than probing.

Pub Date: Feb. 3rd, 1976
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press