This book provides undergraduate students in media programmes with the essential background knowledge to start developing critical analytical skills. It instructs media professionals to realise the key role of the media in the social construction of reality and to understand the many ways in which individuals and groups compete for the influence associated with this role. Based on the teaching experience of the authors, this book strikes a balance between the complexities of media phenomena, and the students’ need for uncomplicated and accessible readings. Critical Media Analysis introduces students to the basics of media work, theory and history, and discusses how media professionals can engage with the postmodern challenges. This textbook makes the case for the relevance of critical knowledge and skills, next to technical and business training, in the education of competent and responsible media professionals.