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Features

The third edition of Converging Media follows the class-tested formula of the previous edition by offering:

  • A Fresh Perspective. Through the lens of convergence, our book shows how different aspects of media are parts of a whole and how they influence each other. Digital media are not relegated to special features or an isolated chapter; they are integrated throughout every chapter. This better reflects the world as students live in it and prepares them to understand the changes that are taking place. This organization invites students and professors to engage in timely discussions of media within a larger framework of understanding traditional mass communication topics.

  • Comprehensive Coverage of Traditional Media. In order to understand the present, we have to study the past. We cover the development and historical influences of print and electronic media, and the issues these media face today. The communication professions of journalism, advertising, and public relations are viewed from historical, societal, and career perspectives, giving students insights into how they interact and influence each other. Basic information on computers and networks also gives students a clear understanding of the media they use every day.

  • Unique Coverage of Social Media. As the first introductory mass communication textbook to devote a chapter to this emerging area, we place social media within a larger media and sociocultural context while explaining basic principles of social networks and why they are important for a basic understanding of today's mass communication. Popular social media tools used widely by people today are given a historical context and thematically connected to older online communication tools. Social media are such an integral part of the media mix for so many people that they must be covered in an introductory course, not introduced in an upper-division media and technology course.

  • Cutting-edge Examples. We have chosen examples that are diverse, interesting, and up to date. We have written Converging Media with students always in mind—understanding the changing world they live in today. Taken from popular media that are familiar and relevant to undergraduates, the examples illustrate how the landscape of media has evolved—and is still evolving.

  • Cultural Context. Mass communication, media technologies, and convergence take place firmly within a sociocultural milieu that simultaneously affects and is affected by these forces. Understanding this cultural context is vital for a complete grasp of convergence and today's media environment. The authors emphasize the cultural influences and implications of media technologies while explaining how they work and how they were developed.

  • Emphasis on Ethics. The book now has a new chapter devoted entirely to ethics (Chapter 12) and continues to thread ethics-related discussions throughout other chapters, as appropriate. Students should learn that ethical considerations are tightly linked to a full understanding of mass communication and media. Ethics can also help guide us in the complex and often confusing world of converging media, giving a basis for sound and humane decisions on media use and production and new technologies, and the way they affect people.
  • Integration of International Perspectives. In a global media environment, it is hard to package all things international in a stand-alone chapter. As with ethics, global issues affect domestic media and vice versa, and this text highlights international perspectives in feature boxes and in the text itself. Through comparisons and contrasts, students obtain an appreciation for different media systems throughout the world and how they work.
  • This third edition has undergone several major changes to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world of media.

  • New Chapters and Revised Organizaztion. We have divided the previous chapter on media literacy and ethics into two standalone chapters to expand the discussion of each of these critical topics. Media literacy comes first as Chapter 2, while ethics opens Part 5 of the book on media and society, as Chapter 12. Among the updates to the ethics chapter is a close examination of the News of the World hacking case in London, England, which dominated much of the media world's attention in mid-2011 and led to the downfall of that 167-year-old newspaper.

  • New Digital Media Coverage. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 have undergone major updating, as the digital revolution has swept through those industries. In Chapter 3, tablet technologies in the form of the iPad, Kindle, and the like have made the e-reader and e-books viable and increasingly popular among both consumers and media entrepreneurs. In Chapters 4 and 5, the music, radio, motion picture, and television/video industries have undergone sweeping changes in recent months and years.

  • New Social Media Revolution. Part 3 reflects the changing media environment, especially advances in the realm of social media and Web 2.0 and digital distribution. Social networks have taken center stage in much of the media world and this edition of the book incorporates this development. A new feature box, Media Pioneers, offers students a helpful glimpse via personal mini-biographies into the lives and contributions of the innovators and leaders who have shaped and continue to shape the world of media.

  • Reflections on News, Entertainment, and the Impact of Media on Society. We have made extensive updates to Parts 4 and 5. Chapter 9 contains new material on citizen journalism, as well as the role of Twitter and traditional media in breaking the news about the killing of Osama bin Laden. Chapter 10 features new material about video and video games, as well as developments in reality television and other parts of television and the movie business. In addition to featuring a new chapter on media ethics, Part 5 has been substantially updated throughout all of its chapters. Chapter 13 has considerable updates on developments in communication law and regulation, as important FCC policies and Supreme Court rulings have been incorporated. Insights garnered from recent media investigations have been synthesized and added to Chapter 14 on media theory and research. Finally, we have added fresh perspectives on the evolving influence of mass communication, including social media, on politics in the digital age.



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