News Studio

Media Criticism

The New Culture War: Much of culture, from politics to entertainment, is now about creating spectacles with simplified, exaggerated images. But a new battle against the culture of the image is emerging.

Letter To Salon Magazine - This letter, published in Salon Magazine, summarizes what fiction has to tell us about the dangers of a media-saturated culture. A link to it also appears in the Truman Show site, above.

Faking It: 1992 Boston Globe article on fakes, illusions and an invented world.

The Fake Heaven of Claritin: Claritin, an allergy relief medicine, shamelessly appeals to desires for transcendence to win over consumers.

The Truman Show - This site explores the meanings of The Truman Show and provides a good introduction to some of the ideas on the site.

Power & Appearances - Fiction and nonfiction and how they become tools of truth and manipulation in contemporary culture.

Hate Becomes a Commodity: Making people look like fools and villains is now big business.

The News Media's Effort To Hide From Significant Truth: Instead of merely covering the way power is used and misused, news organizations have become part of the system of power. Media criticism is thus essential to protecting democracy.

Culture of Deception: Culture as simulation and news as fiction and theme park ride.

How Andrew Cunanan Became a UFO: The media reinvented Andrew Cunanan, so it could tell an exciting story. Then people around the United States started inventing him in their imaginations.

Disney, News, Politics and the Academy The conclusion to the essay Disney's Distorted Mirror: "What we see in Disney can now be found not merely in zoos and theme parks but throughout contemporary culture -- in news and television, movies, advertising, museums, politics and virtually all other institutions and media that are trying to win and hold large audiences." 

The Human Pixel Who Wouldn't: The high school student who subverted an effort to turn himself and his classmates into human images.

Big Media & Bad Criticism - A longer idea piece on where the media is today.

Sadism, Insensitivity, and Grandiosity: Media criticism has to explore the psychology of journalism.

The Hidden Ideology of News: News stories contain implicit claims that are hidden forms of ideology.

Basic Principles of Media Criticism - Seven basic statements about how power is exercised in America. This is somewhat outdated now.

Reform Magazine Topical columns on the media.


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