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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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10 The Medium Is the Message (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 10

The Medium Is the Message

Cheryl A. Casey

Is watching a film the same as reading a book?

We’ve all at least been tempted, if not actually done it: tried to bypass reading the book by just watching the movie instead. Imagine your English professor has assigned the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, Gone with the Wind, along with a pretty hefty analysis paper. Sure, the book is a classic, but so is the movie, right? The book is also some 700 pages, while the film version runs about 226 minutes. The choice seems like a no-brainer.

When your professor returns your paper, you find that differences between the movie and the book confused your analysis. In the movie, key supporting characters are missing, Scarlett has one child instead of three, details about the war are given much less attention, and Scarlett and Rhett are much better liked. That explains the not-so-hot essay grade.

Let’s take another example of how the differences between a book and its film adaptation can create something of a stir: Many fans of The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins were “upset” (Rosen, 2012) that an African-American actress was cast to play the supporting character of Rue in the first movie of the trilogy. After reading the book, this group of fans imagined Rue as something quite different from how she was then visually portrayed on screen; the mind’s...

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