Media Life Book Review (5): Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Late last year the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media published an in-depth review of Media Life (Polity Press, 2012), now adding to the list of reviews in Publizistik, the European Journal of CommunicationInformation, Communication and Society and Digital Journalism.

The review was done by sociologist David Hill of the University of York. Hopefully he does not mind me sharing some of his comments here:

"At times [the book] risks becoming a bit breathless, as the reader is led through one theorist after another [...]This can be quite dizzying but it works as a kind of hyperlinking of theory, building up a picture of media life. It appears on the surface to be somewhat uncritical [...] but as we draw to the conclusion of the book it becomes clear that each of these theoretical expositions is adding to an understanding of what it means to live in media, that the art is not so much in one act of critical exegesis but in the tessellation of the theories."

Professor Hill highlights how, at several moments throughout the book, my efforts to stay away from typical 'kerfuffles' in media studies and social theory (particularly dualisms such as media are either 'good' or 'bad' for us) sometimes lead to uncritical and rather vague assertions. However, I am especially pleased with his too kind concluding note:

"With Media Life, Mark Deuze has produced a text that is at once both an estimable reference point for a wide range of empirical and theoretical literature on media and technology, and a thought-provoking examination of the ubiquity and pervasiveness of media that forces us to see past their invisibility to the inescapable effects they have on our lives. It deserves to be on the reading list of every student of media."