Understanding Media

Understanding Media

Communication, Power and Social Change


Our lives are more mediated than ever before. Adults in economically advanced countries spend, on average, over eight hours per day interacting with the media. The news and entertainment industries are being transformed by the shift to digital platforms. But how much is really changing in terms of what shapes media content? What are the impacts on our public and imaginative life? And is the Internet a democratising tool of social protest, or of state and commercial manipulation?

Drawing on decades of research to examine these and other questions, Understanding Media interrogates claims about the Internet, explores how representations in TV and film may influence perceptions of self, and traces overarching trends while attending to crucial local context, from the United States to China, Norway to Malaysia, and Brazil to Britain. Understanding Media is an accessible and essential guide to the world's most influential force - the contemporary media.

About the authors

James Curran

James Curran is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the co-author of award-winning Power Without Responsibility, now going into its ninth edition. His other books include Media and Democracy (translated into Arabic, Hungarian and Korean) and Media and Power (translated into Spanish, Greek, Korean, Japanese and Chinese). He gained the C. Edwin Baker Award for his work on media, markets and democracy from the International Communication Association. He secured a £1.25 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust to research the internet. He has been a Visiting Professor at California, Pennsylvania, Stanford, Oslo and Stockholm Universities.

Learn More

Joanna Redden

Joanna Redden is an Associate Professor at Western University. She is author of The Mediation of Poverty, co-author of Data Justice and co-editor of Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more