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Read 2019 #2: Journalism, Craft of Research, Social History of Media

Posted on Feb 24, 2020 by Chung-hong Chan


Well, my January was a blast. I should have written something about it. But maybe I should leave it to later. I think I still need to write 3-sentence summaries of what I have read recently. I want to keep a pace of write a blog post every 3 books I have read.

Democracy with Journalism?: Confronting the Misinformation Society

In this deeply US-focused book, the author argues ad-supported journalism is always in crisis and thus discussion of saving ad-supported journalism is doomed to be futile. As an alternative and given the history of government supports mail service and PBS in the US, a social democratic vision of tax-supported journalism is advocated, which is a reality in European countries (e.g. Scandinavian’s direct support and German Public Service Broadcasting such as ARD and ZDF). From my understanding of the US political system, though, anything related to tax is immediately a taboo and social democracy is not something at least half of the US citizens want.

The Craft of Research, 4th edition

If I was a freshman in the University I might be enjoying this book. By reading this book, I know that I am no longer a beginner and can somehow claim the title of veteran. Many of the suggestions in this book are severely outdated (e.g. photocopying…), eventhough the book has been updated in 2016.

A Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet, 3rd Edition

As a media researcher and history buff, this book was a fun read because the book fills so many holes in my understanding of media history in the Western world (esp. GB). The history of the world stops in 2009 thus FB and Twitter were barely mentioned. However, the book contains many beginner-level errors which I, as a non-expert, can easily detect, e.g. German names of many inventors, famous people such as John Tukey and website names such as tudou.

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