This introductory text describes the main theoretical approaches to the study of media and adopts a three-part structure based on the classic division between production, content, and consumption. After an initial review of studies on media businesses viewed as a component of the cultural industry, the author addresses so-called "broadcaster sociology" and the theories and practice of "news-making". Then the text discusses the theoretical literature regarding media content, starting with the genre issue, which in recent years has become once again relevant due to the advent of infotainment and reality television. The final part is devoted to the various approaches that attribute a more or less passive role to publics. The conclusions focus on a crucial question raised by the extraordinary growth of so-called "new media": to what extent does computer-mediated communication demand the development of new theories?
Contents: Introduction. - 1. Theory, Media, Society. - Focus: Media Theories from the Art World. - 2. The Production of Media Culture: Theories and Research. - Focus: Media about Media. - 3. Media Content. - Focus: Using Media Theory to Study Art. - 4. Media Consumption: Effects and Practices. - Epilogue: New Media, New Theories? - Bibliographical References.
Federico Boni teaches Sociology of Communication at the University of Milan.