Digital Disconnect

Digital Disconnect book cover

By Robert McChesney, pp. 320, The New Press, 2013.

Celebrants and skeptics alike have produced valuable analyses of the Internet's effect on us and our world, oscillating between utopian bliss and dystopian hell. But according to Robert W. McChesney, arguments on both sides fail to address the relationship between economic power and the Internet.

McChesney's award-winning Rich Media, Poor Democracy skewered the assumption that a society drenched in commercial information is a democratic one. In Digital Disconnect, McChesney returns to this provocative thesis in light of the advances of the digital age. He argues that the sharp decline in the enforcement of antitrust violations, the increase in patents on digital technology and proprietary systems and massive indirect subsidies and other policies have made the Internet a place of numbing commercialism. A handful of monopolies now dominate the political economy, from Google, which garners a 97 percent share of the mobile search market, to Microsoft, whose operating system is used by over 90 percent of the world's computers.

Capitalism's colonization of the Internet has spurred the collapse of credible journalism and made the internet an unparalleled apparatus for government and corporate surveillance and a disturbingly antidemocratic force. In Digital Disconnect, Robert McChesney offers a groundbreaking critique of the Internet, urging us to reclaim the democratizing potential of the digital revolution while we still can.

Author(s):

Robert McChesney (click to view archive)

Robert McChesney teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of many books including Digital Disconnect. He is co-author with John Nichols of Dollarocracy. He is the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization. The Utne Reader listed him among its “50 visionaries who are changing the world.”
Reviews currently not available

Order...

Book:
$28

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty

Related Programs

Robert McChesney
Corporate Media & the Threat to Democracy

"Information," Jefferson told us, "is the currency of democracy." What is the impact on democracy when currency is owned, printed, packaged and distributed by a handful of megacorporations? Corporate control...

Robert McChesney
Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy

Stop the presses! Breaking News! Journalism is dying! The terms seismic shifts and tectonic plates moving are overused but they certainly apply to journalism today. The venerable fourth estate is...

Robert McChesney
The Global Media System

The wave of media mergers and takeovers has created a global system of near awesome dimensions. What many people see, hear and read is produced and controlled by a handful...

Robert McChesney
The Internet, Capitalism & Democracy

Remember the information superhighway and all the hype about the Internet? The wonders of the Digital Age would be liberating. A utopian bliss was at hand. Now it sometimes looks...  

Robert McChesney
The Problem of the Media

Poor, black, and suffering Americans. These are the images that flashed across TV screens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Reporters asked why there was no help for people who...  

Robert McChesney
Write What We Say, Not What We Do

Seems like journalist are letting the big stories fall through the cracks. Maybe they should start with simpler questions. How about who really won the 2000 Presidential election? Or what...