Booknote on Media Work

As far as I know, reviews of Media Work have yet to appear in academic journals (I really hope they do... can't wait to see what I need to do better next time). Goldsmith's Natalie Fenton did a great job of critiqueing the book in the Times Higher Education Supplement of 23 November 2007. There she writes about what I feel in a nutshell summarizes my own struggle with the workstyles in the media industries:
"[...] we discover that structure (market) and agency (informal networks) coexist in organisations; that production includes commercial ends and creative means; that it is too simplistic to pitch creativity against commerce or flexibility against stability. These are valid reminders of the complexity of the world of work, but they leave us wanting and skirt around the critical question of power - where it resides, how it is manifest, who wields it and with what consequences."

In the most recent issue (23/1, pp.124-5) of the European Journal of Communication, the book has been briefly discussed in a booknote, with some critical and some supportive comments (of course, publisher Polity only printed the positive lines on its website). As that is a "closed" journal, I'm taking the liberty to reproduce the booknote here:

Mark Deuze, Media Work. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007.
"In this book on media work and working in the media, Mark Deuze argues that understanding the media is not a side-activity of sociology or economics, but central to gaining analytical sense of contemporary life around the world, and most particularly in western capitalist democracies. Examples of features of life for which the cultural industries are indicative include the management of creativity, the culturalization of work and the defining of professional identities. Deuze maps out the conditions of media work today, focusing especially on mainstream news journalism, major studio film production, leading computer and video game development, advertising and marketing communications. He draws on material from trade as well as scholarly publications, practitioner weblogs and e-zines, and in-depth interviews with media workers in the US, the Netherlands, Finland, New Zealand and South Africa. Deuze tends to exaggerate the degree of identity between contemporary media work and other forms of work or indeed between these and everyday cultural life. He also draws rather uncritically on Bauman's social theory and in particular his conception of the ‘liquidity’ of contemporary modernity. At the same time, Deuze ably synthesizes a wide range of sources, writes lucidly even as he marshals a considerable amount of detail, moves unjarringly between different media sectors and offers a valuable synoptic account of the major characteristic features of media work in the so-called digital age."