Ten years after the publication of The Business of Books, his groundbreaking critique of conglomeration in the book industry, Andre Schiffrin turns his attention to the broader crisis in the media. Just as corporatization and the lowest-common-denominator pursuit of the bottom line have had a parlous effect on publishing, media consolidation has contributed to the ongoing demise of serious journalism in newspapers, magazines, serious broadcast news, and online journalism. Schiffrin compares the media crisis in the United States to the situation in Europe and across the globe, and he demonstrates how the American corporate model has extended its reach. But he also describes and considers a range of alternative policies culled from many countries that, if pursued, could help to save journalism and the media in the US. This is a superlative essay that will make everyone seriously interested in the media and publishing think again.
Andre Schiffrin was, for thirty years, the publisher of Pantheon Books. In 1990 Schiffrin left Pantheon to found The New Press. He is the author of A Political Education as well as the recently published Dr. Seuss & Co. Go to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of America's Leading Comic Artists. He divides his time between Paris and New York.