Book: Producing the Internet – Critical Perspectives of Social Media
Should contemporary media culture be understood as a culture that offers unprecedented freedom for producing participators – so-called “produsers”, or should it rather be understood as a culture in which various forms of user participation in fact are conditioned, or even manufactured, by organized, professional producers?
The contributions to this book add to our critical understanding of these new forms of media. They all draw on various theoretical concepts – such as producers, community, and participation – used when analysing media culture. But they also share a critical interest in problematizing and analysing the forms of power built into this culture.
Editor: Tobias Olsson
Publisher: Nordicom, 2013
Selected chapter titles:
- Social Media and Capitalism
- Dirty Work. Why Journalists Shun Reader Comments
- Transmedia Storytelling and a Young Audience. Public Service in the Blogosphere Era
Book: Mediation and Protest Movements
Over the past year, international and national media have been full of stories about protest movements and tumultuous social upheaval from Tunisia to California. But scholars have not yet fully addressed the connection between these movements and the media and communication channels through which their messages spread.
Correcting that imbalance, Mediation and Protest Movements explores the nature of the relationship between protest movements, media representation, and communication strategies and tactics. By covering online and offline contexts, as well as mainstream and alternative media, Mediation and Protest Movements bridges the gap between social-movement theory and media and communication studies, making this an important text for students and scholars of the media and social change.
Editors: Bart Cammaerts, Alice Mattoni, and Patrick McCurdy
Publisher: Intellect, 2013
Book: Beyond WikiLeaks – Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism, and Society
Beyond WikiLeaks opens a space to reflect on the broader implications across political and media fields, and on the transformations that result from new forms of leak journalism and transparency activism.
A select group of renowned scholars, international experts, and WikiLeaks ‘insiders’ discuss the consequences of the WikiLeaks saga for traditional media, international journalism, freedom of expression, policymaking, civil society, social change, and international politics.
Edited by Benedetta Brevini, Arne Hintz and Patrick McCurdy
Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, http://www.palgrave.com/products/title.aspx?pid=637302
Authors include: Harvard University’s Yochai Benkler; Graham Murdoch of Loughborough University; net activism scholar, Gabriella Coleman; the Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jillian York; and Guardian editor, Chris Elliott. The book also includes a conversation between philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and its prologue is written by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Icelandic MP and editor of the WikiLeaks video ‘Collateral Murder’.
Ebooks for scholars?
There is an interesting article in the Chronicle for Higher Education about university presses finally getting the works of scholars out in an ebook format. While this is a major step forward and a great option for libraries, I would love to see a more affordable option for independent scholars.
For reviews and more, visit my personal blog, Glinda Says!
Academic books are almost notorious for having ugly, inaccessible design. This is an example of effective academic book design, although there’s a few things I would’ve changed.
The chapter headings are set in a san serif font to differentiate them from the body text. The chapter title is set in a bold weight to differentiate it from the subtitle. The chapter drop adds white space and breaks up the reading between chapters. I do think the leading between the chapter title and subtitle is too wide, and I’m not sure that right aligning the chapter number is a good idea, it’s too easy to miss it altogether.
Although the font is relatively small, the line measure is still a comfortable length, about 60 characters. This is close to Bringhurst’s ideal measure of 66 characters.
The illustrations in this book are what Lee calls ‘representative’ illustrations. They are an integral part of the book. The designer has set the illustrations at the top of the page so they don’t break up the text panel. The illustration is clearly numbered and captioned. The caption style is in the same font as the body text, but a smaller type. In this way it both complements and contrasts the body text.
The notes are all formatted as endnotes and included with other endmatter at the back of the book. As Mitchell & Wightman recommend, the endnotes are typeset to be consistent with other endmatter (bibliography, index). The font is slightly smaller than the body text but still readable. The headings are set in a different font—the same san serif as the chapter headings—so readers can easily find the notes they’re looking for.
Although it’s hard to tell from this scan, this book is printed on 80 gsm cream book paper. It’s much easier on the eyes than standard white paper and contributes to the aesthetic appeal of the book.