Welcome to Critical Media Review

Welcome to Critical Media Review

In this mediated age of austerity the mass media in all its variants has important consequences for society. Indeed writing from Ireland few would argue that the mass media here, private or public, has acted as an impartial and objective observer or ‘mirror’ of society. Rather many argue that the mass media has more than often acted as a subjective and sometimes very political actor in debates around the economic and political crises.  This has somewhat confirmed the Gramscian view of the media as a defensive part of capitalist (civil) society which is resistant to the ‘catastrophic “incursions” of the immediate economic element’ (Gramsci 1971). The understanding and deconstruction of the ideological assumptions and discourses across the media sphere is therefore a necessary task. The traditional mass media of course is not the only factor as internet publishing, social networking and blogging has grown in popularity; however it is still far too early to tell how the potentialities of this ‘new’ media will play out.

For these reasons it is crucial to critically treat the media, new and old, in all its forms and its actual and potential role(s) in society at large.  Critical Media Review brings together communications and media scholars, bloggers and activists with the aim of deconstructing media content, and demystifying media practices and structures. This blog is grounded in the material aspects of political economy and the current crises and does not wish to be ‘media’ or ‘techno-centric’. However while acknowledging that the media in its various forms do not ‘cause’ or ‘solve’ political, economic or social problems we maintain that the media can and does have a very real and dialectical influence on society and politics.

The blog calls on media scholars, bloggers, activists, journalists and all interested parties to contribute. All forms of contributions are welcome, whether academic studies, reviews, or simple links to newspaper or other articles with brief analysis of ideological tropes, assumptions or discourses. Articles by media activists or journalists on issues of practice or practicalities are also welcome. The blog is interested in all forms of media.  The blog however will concentrate on media analysis rather than being a media channel.

critical media review


4 thoughts on “Welcome to Critical Media Review

    • Footnote on ‘Gramscian View’ of the media:

      Antonio Gramsci was an Italian revolutionary leader and scholar who died as a political prisoner in April 1937. His contribution to the theory of the state included a development on Marx and Lenin’s expression of the superstructure of society; made up of civil society (education, religion etc) and the state (courts, police, military etc). Gramsci maintained that in developed capitalist societies it is elements of civil society which are often strongest. In media terms it considers the role of the media as part of the defensive fortifications of capitalist society. The entire quote reads as follows:

      ‘The same reduction must take place in the art and science of politics, at least in the case of the most advanced States, where “civil society” has become a very complex structure and one which is resistant to the catastrophic “incursions” of the immediate economic element (crises, depressions, etc.). The superstructures of civil society are like the trench systems of modern warfare.’

      Gramsci A. (1971) In Hoare & Nowell Smith, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, New York, International Press p. 235

      critical media review

  1. Best of luck with this venture, seriously. But can I ask if your recasting of “media” as a singlular noun is a strategic move, or just an honest mistake? If the latter, I’d suggest that it leaves you open to “unhelpful” comments, possibly like this one.

    • Hi Joe

      Thanks for your comment, the definition of media used in ‘critical media review’ is as an uncountable plural noun as in ‘the broadcast media’, or ‘the print media’, we further define media as the content, practice and structure of the mass (and not so mass) media as expressed in our mast head. Of course we do recognise that grammar, discourse and language are human constructs and as with all constructs are not historically universal but rather open to change through usage. We feel this definition of ‘media’ or ‘the media’ is understood by all. On a more practical note we think that ‘critical media review’ has a nice ring to it and expresses our intention as a critique of media content, practice and structure. As an aside we are always interested on articles on the ideological use of grammar, syntax and discourse in the media sphere.
      critical media review

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