Electronic Media and Industrialized Nations
considers the approaches that industrialized nations have taken to introduce, develop, control, and use electronic media. Browne compares and contrasts through detailed case studies, the experiences of several nations--France, Germany (both East and West), the Soviet Union and Russia, and the Netherlands--by presenting them in light of the political, economic, cultural, geographical, and demographic factors that both shape and reflect society. He then compares the pros and cons of those experiences, adds specific examples from still other industrialized nations, and proposes an "ideal" system as a way of focusing attention on what the media could and should do to play supportive roles in society.
Browne readily acknowledges his own biases. He makes it abundantly clear that he believes those who regulate, administer, produce, and receive have an obligation to understand how the electronic media function and how the media should and can follow standards that will better ensure their responsibility for the development of healthy societies.
While the present work is based on Browne's award-winning Comparing Broadcast Systems, it goes much further in terms of its coverage of such subjects as government-media relationships, minorities and the media, uses of the Internet, and the possible influence of "media barons," the European Union, and transnational corporations. Where the two Germanys and the Soviet Union/Russia are concerned, he provides an account of the role of the media before, during, and after both German unification and the collapse of the Soviet Union. He also places greater emphasis on how media portrayal of religion, class, language, ethnicity, and political affiliation provide us with images of the relative health of civil society.