No-Nonsense Guide to Global Media, by Peter Steven

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Now the BBC and CNN have a direct competitor and a news organisation clearly without a Western bias. It is available to viewers in most countries – though not in the US and Canada, where it is blocked by strong pro-Israel lobbies. Ironically, Al-Jazeera is one of the most popular networks in Israel and regularly features speeches from Israeli government officials – a first in the Arab media.

Originally published in 2004, revised in 2010, this small book from New Internationalist already seems very dated. It’s a look at the dominance of a few players in the global media market, in both news and entertainment, and the efforts of others to cut through to the wider audience (and vice versa). I learned a few snippets about the political economy of telenovelas, but not much else. The writer seemed to be more interested in banging the traditional lefty drum than in looking at the extent to which digitised information has empowered the spreading of fake news and propaganda. It’s incomplete, and not all that interesting. You can get it here.

This was my top unread book and also my shortest unread book acquired in 2015 (someone must have given it to me, I don’t think I would have bought it for myself). Next on those piles are Guy Erma and the Son of Empire, by Sally Ann Melia, and Alaska Sampler 2014, edited by Deb Vanasse and David Marusek.