Readership: Media Studies
Herbert J. Gans, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
""Gans draws on recent scholarship and statistical data to support his recommendations, but this well-argued book remains accessible to general readers. A useful purchase for both public and academic libraries."—Library Journal"
""This season's best book on the media"—Ellen Hetzel, Poynteronline"
""Gans radiates decency and common sense. Like Tocqueville, he also brings something of the neutral tone of a foreign observer (he arrived in his teens as a refugee), and he is refreshingly free of partisan bias."—Ted Widmer, New York Times Book Review"
""The biggest surprise in Herbert Gans' new book isn't his blunt diagnosis of what ails journalism or his fresh, often funky suggestions for reform. The biggest surprise is his challenge to basic assumptions about news and democracy.... Gans is most provocative when challenging our articles of faith, particularly the view that if the press just better informs citizens, then they will become more involved in civic life and democracy will benefit. Gans argues that lack of power is more debilitating to citizens than lack of information.... Gans' assessment of why audiences and journalists seem estranged is perceptive and pertinent, and at least one of his conclusions seems indisputable: 'Journalists cannot function as messengers,' he reasons, unless the recipients want and need
them.'"—American Journalism Review"
""A sober, researched and valuable contribution to the current discussion of the media."—Houston Chronicle"
""No book on news and government offers more good sense in more compact fashion. Anyone tired of bombast about 'liberal bias'—or for that matter, about a nation mired in conservatism by the opposite bias—should consult Gans' well-organized state-of-the-art compendium of evidence and argument. Democracy and the News is crisp, seasoned, clarifying, realistic, and impressively hopeful. It will settle a lot of arguments."—Todd Gitlin"
""Herbert Gans has written a wise and lucid book that draws on his profound and nuanced understanding of the media, and his deep commitment to democratic ideals. Most admirably, Gans not only gives us a crisp catalog of the impediments to a media that serves democracy, but actually dares to consider steps toward overcoming them."—Frances Fox Piven"