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Thinking. The Heart of the Media

Jacek Dabala

In a unique, and at times highly polemical way, the author demonstrates how the media generally influences thinking and what kind of content they put into peoples’ heads. He aims to encourage a better understanding of oneself, one’s environment, and the world but above all, a better understanding of freedom, the condition of democracy - or dictatorship. This is probably the first book in the media and communication studies which, through scientific provocation, makes the readers delve deeply into their intelligence, teaches them how to use it, and allows them to decide whether they have a weak, average, or insightful mind. The book sets one of the most important trends: it tells how the media think and how they shape their audiences.

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In this book, I have undertaken a rare and difficult attempt to combine essayistic and scientific narratives; I do so in an individualistic manner that refers to the recognised tradition of the French-Italian media researchers, Pierre Bourdieu, Giovanni Sartori, and Umberto Eco. The unusual formula of a brief comment instead of a classical essay in each case has a diagnostic function; it starts with a clear thesis stating the issue, is followed by its explication, analysis and diagnosis, ending with a conclusion, a synthesis. The final section is often a suggested solution to the problem, an attempt to go beyond a purely factual description. This was particularly demanding, since it involves both a significant number of media inspirations, i.e., also essays, two hundred to be precise, and the necessity to compress one’s thoughts and language to not quite two thousand characters with spaces. As a researcher in the field of the media, communication, literature, and film, I decided that today’s world is so dynamic and so overloaded with information that, in order to establish better contact and understanding with the reader, it is best to present it in a universally abbreviated form. Hence the perspective of phenomena and paradoxes. I must emphasise that each commentary was inspired by a particular media message, a consequence of analysing the messages of the press, radio, TV, and the internet on a daily basis. This provides a unique picture of the world via media messages: on the one hand, intelligent, universal, and...

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