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Media Screen Round-up October 2016

The monthly round-up of film and television publications compiled by Simon Baker, Institute of Historical Research and published at Learning on Screen by Andrew Ormsby.

Recent events lend a potentially topical significance to some of the publications in this month’s bumper round-up, particularly a number of publications which examine different aspects of film and the media in the USA.

Richard Abel considers the close relationship between the printed press and the film industry in the early days of cinema in Menus for Movieland: Newspapers and the Emergence of American Film Culture, 1913 – 1916 (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2015). Abel explores the ways in which aspects of film criticism, fandom and the ways in which movie stars were portrayed and perceived were shaped by their coverage in newspapers – often through the writings of female journalists.

In Projecting Race: Postwar America, Civil Rights and Documentary Film (London: Wallflower Press, 2016) Stephen Charbonneau writes about post-war educational documentaries in the light of race relations and the civil rights movement.

Outi Hakola, the author of Rhetoric of Modern Death in American Living Dead Films (Bristol, UK ; Chicago, USA: Intellect, 2015) argues that changing American attitudes to death can be traced via the vampire, mummy and zombie films.

Finally, and perhaps most pertinently, Anthony M. Nadler’s Making the News Popular: Mobilizing U.S. News Audiences (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2016) is a historical analysis of the crisis in American journalism brought on by the increasing tendency for consumer preferences, rather than editorial judgement and expertise, to set the news agenda. Nadler traces the beginnings of this process from the 1970s, when market research began to play a role in the editorial office, to today’s landscape, where everyone is potentially a journalist and the judgement of professional gatekeepers no longer defines the news agenda.

Media Screen Roundup October 2016

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