Critical Book Review

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Critical Book Review

Critical Book Review

This critical review is for the book, 'Mass media and media policy in Western Europe' written by Peter J. Humphreys, which was published in the year 1996 by Manchester University Press.


I appreciate the ways in which the writer has explored ways in which the mass media systems have been manipulated by technological advancements, politics and economics in Europe (Humphreys, 1996, pp. 15). The Western Europe is witnessing drastic changes in the media policy and press systems, as well as television. This has raised concerns for those who study public policy. According to the author, markets and states have the power to hinder the progress of media towards pluralism and freedom. I agree with the writer that public policy can play a vital role in instigating a diversified media system around Europe. Therefore the writer has focused on the effects of public regulations and commercial actions that are private. The writer places the argument that political interference can contribute to rise of threats aimed at pluralism. When ownership of media is centred and markets can exercise authority that also poses a threat to pluralism.

The book also discusses concepts that are related to political influence on newer technological advancements in the field of media and I agree to the points he has made. One example of such technology is broadcasting through transfrontier satellite, which is used by Europe. The author states that the commercialization of nation's broadcasting systems has certain implications. The European Union's policies on media are also of significant importance when studying media operations (Humphreys, 1996, pp. 25).

Overview of the book in my opinion

I think that the author has discussed the core concepts regarding media, policies in regard to media and political as well as socio-economic factors having an influence on media. Important aspects regarding each topic have been highlighted and the author had made special effort to relate the data to facts and figures. In my opinion, the suggestions given by author in relation to media policies are also viable.

Need for a European Audiovisual policy

There was a need for having a media policy at the European level which was shared by official members of the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) and all the members of the European Parliament (EP), as well as others who wanted closer ties between the EU members (European Commission, 2012, p.n.d). I find it a quality of the book that this need has been specifically highlighted in the book to give readers the idea of the basis behind formation of media policies.

Audiovisual and Media Policies

The book discussed the EU Policy structure for information and media is known as i2010. EU is an integral unit and therefore it cannot be ignored. I agree with the fact that it is important to place significance on i2010 as it works towards the betterment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) because it realizes the contribution that ICT makes to the personal lives of people, the society and the economy ...
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