Circuit of Mass Communication

Extracts from reviews

The book... examines AIDS and the media in a holistic way from the beginning to the end of the process... the final summing up chapters by David Miller and Jenny Kitzinger (and vice versa) provide a useful critique of the unthinking use of the concept of ?moral panic?, which along with ?homophobia?, ?sexism? and other blanket terms have dominated so much analysis in this area... I could not agree more [with this analysis]... Let us hope media analysts finally desist from the irritating and unthinking overuse of this concept... [The] book does much to develop a critical stance about the use of blanket terminology... This is a valuable book... The sections covering the interests surrounding production and sourcing and the AIDS public education campaign add a dimension which is often lacking from accounts of ?the role of the media?. the various chapters hang together reasonably well and follow the process through from initial conception to final reception and interpretation of the message... The book is to be welcomed and the team congratulated (Media History, 1998 4(2): 210-211).

There is a lot to be learned from this book, especially because it goes well beyond simplistic ?content analysis? to reveal the complexities of the circuit of mass communication. The authors steer clear of and expose the hollowness of common, facile assumptions about the creation, production and reception of media messages. They look behind the headlines and stories, advertisements and serials and probe the personal, professional, political and other factors which often contribute to both the form and content of media products. For instance, in their analysis of the British government?s public education campaign on AIDS, David Miller and Kevin Williams highlight the multi-directional tug of war between various forces which resulted in the widely criticised and hotly debated series of official advertisements which appeared in the UK media in the mid 1980s? Another refreshing aspect of the book is that fact that it reflects the authors sound understanding of the dynamics of media organisations... The authors? ?critical insider? vantage point distinguishes this book from others in its genre (IIMB Management Review summer 1999 excerpted in the Financial Times 29 August 1999)