America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media. By Victor Pickard.

Brian Dolber

Abstract


The migration of readers and advertisers from print to digital platforms, coupled
with a commonsense belief in the United States that the government has
little if any role to play in ensuring a free, democratic, and vibrant public sphere,
have produced crises in journalism of both economics and legitimacy. Critical
perspectives often attribute the ascent of these free market ideas and the decline
of civic engagement to the rise of the neoliberal consensus in the 1980s. But in
the tradition of the “historical turn” in political economy (McChesney 2007,
99), Victor Pickard’s first monograph, America’s Battle for Media Democracy: The
Triumph of Corporate Libertarianism and the Future of Media, offers a compelling
intervention: our media system’s current failures have emerged out of structural
relationships and philosophical perspectives that were ingrained during the early
postwar era.


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