Recent Books and Key Literature

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  • Ellie Rennie. (2006). Community Media: A Global Introduction. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham.

    This concise text  helps readers understand the ongoing fascination with do-it-yourself media around the world. A clear and useful guide for students, Community Media lays out the terrain in which community media theory and advocacy have located themselves, including the ideals of participation, community, and social change.  The book: serves as a useful supplement for courses in international communication, communication and social change, and alternative media; explores the notion of community; looks at both broadcast and digital media; features an analysis of policy--and how it affects and is affected by community media; and includes recommended web sites for further research.

  • Laura Stein. (2006). Speech Rights in America: The First Amendment, Democracy and the Media. University of Illinois Press.
    With the growing commercialization and concentration of the media, opportunities for ordinary citizens to access these forums are becoming more constrained.  Even the Internet, once heralded as the most open of communications spaces, is increasingly subject to the control of market imperatives and technology infrastructure owners.  In Speech Rights in America, Laura Stein argues that the ways in which the courts interpret the First Amendment unduly constrict the speech rights of citizens.  Legal interpretations of the First Amendment, the principle guarantor of speech rights in the United States, often privilege the interests of media owners over those of the broader citizenry. Stein argues that such rulings prevent the First Amendment from performing its critical role as a protector of free speech, alienate citizens from their rights, and undermine the potential for democratic communication.
    Stein locates the source of clashes over First Amendment interpretations in the differing views of neoliberal and participatory democratic theory on the meaning of rights and the role of communication in democratic processes. Drawing on the best of the liberal democratic tradition, she develops a systematic and concise definition of democratic speech and compares this definition to legal understandings of speech rights in contemporary media law. Stein demonstrates that there is a significant gap between current First Amendment law and the speech rights necessary for democratic communication, and proposes an alternative set of principles to guide future judicial, legislative, and cultural policy on old and new media.  What is at stake is not just the issue of who has speech rights in the media, but who can participate in the national conversation that is vital to a democratic society.
  • Zabaleta, Iñaki. (2005).  Teoría, Técnica y Lenguaje de la Información en Televisión y Radio: Sistemas Digitales y Analógicos(Translation: Theory, Technique and Language of Television and Radio Information: Digital and Analog Systems). 736 pages, Editorial Bosch Comunicación, Barcelona.
    This comprehensive book of 736 pages, grounded on solid international and Spanish literature and on the author's personal research and professional activity, covers the various aspects of radio and TV information and journalism, from theory to technique to audio-visual language. As a consequence, the content is based on a two-folded structure, for it does not only offer an international and critical analysis of the theory and techniques of broadcast journalism, but also describes the current reality of radio and television information in Spain, highlighting the significant similarities between public and private broadcasters, and the meaningful differences between Spain-level and regional networks.
    In relation with the analog-digital transition of the newsrooms, the author conducted a field research on the technical and functional solutions undertaken by several important Spanish radio and television broadcasters, and the results are included in this volume.


  • Lorna Roth. (2005). Something New in the Air: The Story of First People's Television Broadcasting in Canada. McGill-Queens University Press (Montreal).
    "Something New in the Air" outlines the development of Canadian First
    Peoples television and delineates the stages through which it has passed
    from the time Southern television first entered remote communities by
    satellite in 1972/73, until the current period in which the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network - the only aboriginal television service in the world - is nationally distributed throughout Canada. The author argues that First Peoples of Canada have refashioned television broadcasting - indigenizing it over the years and transforming it into a tool for inter-community and national development. They have, she posits, utilized television programming both as a vehicle to mediate their own historically ruptured pasts, and as a pathway into more globally-integrated futures.
    In a broader context, the book outlines the struggle of First Peoples of
    Canada to attain legislated recognition (1991) of their collective
    communications and cultural rights as Peoples with a special status. This achievement explains, in part, why they are now internationally acknowledged as having the most advanced and fairest Fourth World (indigenous peoples) broadcasting system in the world.  The author also demonstrates how the pioneering and persistent activities of First Peoples to make their programming an integral part of the Canadian media infrastructure have helped to bolster Canada's reputation as a model of media resistance against the overwhelming forces of continental integration in North America.  
  • Nick Couldry and James Curran. (2003). Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Alfonso Gumucio Dagron. (2001). Making Waves: Stories of Participatory Communication for Social Change. The Rockefeller Foundation.
  • Nick J. Jankowski and Ole Prehn. (2002). Community Media in the Information Age: Perspectives and Prospects.  Hampton Press.
  • Clemencia Rodriguez. (2001). Fissures in the Mediascape: An International Study of Citizens' Media. Hampton Press.