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A dictionary of communication and media studies /

Main Author: Watson, James, 1936-
Other Authors: Hill, Anne, 1952-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: London ; New York : New York, NY : Arnold ; 1997
Edition: 4th ed.
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Review by Choice Review

With 1,300 terms, this fourth edition represents a 25 percent expansion of the third edition, with many new terms from film studies, telecommunications, news reporting, and other topics related to the social and cultural aspects of communication. The volume abounds with entries for theories, models, and concepts, but also includes entries concerning technology, mass media, organizations, events, and the law. Many of the institutional and legal entries have a British emphasis. There are no biographical entries. The individual subject entries, ranging from 20 to close to 1,000 words, provide definitions, historical and theoretical contexts, and plentiful references to the professional literature and to other subject entries within the dictionary. Fifteen collective entries bring together cross-references to broad themes (e.g., culture, radio). The entries are well written and present valuable background information on the theories and concepts of communication. Readers interested in short definitions of technical terms for journalism, mass media, or telecommunications would want to consult Richard Weiner's Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and Communication (CH, May'97) or Martin Weik's Communication Standard Dictionary (3rd ed., 1996). Because of its reasonable price and its broad coverage of communication, university libraries will want Watson's new edition. G. B. Thompson; Siena College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

This is a specialized, no-frills dictionary designed for the academic study of communication and media. As to be expected, since the authors are both senior lecturers at West Kent College in the United Kingdom, it leans toward things British. Definitions are presented in straight alphabetical arrangement, with boldface type used to set off the terms being defined. Many see references are given, and small block capitals are used to indicate separate entries on a related topic. Some definitions end with minimal citations to books recommended for further reading, and a portion of the entries are accompanied by black-and-white diagrams. Of great help, especially to American readers, is the six-page list of abbreviations (BFMP: British Federation of Master Printers; RTSA: Royal Television Society Awards). The 2,000 or so entries cover a wide range of topics. Readers may turn to this source for definitions of allegory, gender, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, personal space, public radio (defined here as "term used in Australia to refer to community radio"), and values. There are also entries that will seem foreign to Americans: definitions are given for besotting peculiarities ("In the opinion of the Poor Man's Guardian of 20 August 1831, the three besotting peculiarities of Englishmen were gin-drinking, boxing matches, and a veneration for titles"), the Oz Trial ("The longest ever obscenity trial in the UK"), and "Death on the Rock," a controversial British television program. For libraries serving communication and media scholars, and particularly for those wanting a British view of these fields, A Dictionary of Communication and Media Studies is a recommended purchase. However, it is definitely aimed at a British audience. A better choice for most U.S. libraries is the recent update of Richard Weiner's Webster's New World Dictionary of Media and Communications (Macmillan, 1997).

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

The audiences for these three resources on media and communications will range widely. Silverblatt and Eliceiri's dictionary is quite specialized, devoted solely to terms, concepts, organizations, and people associated with the narrow subfield of media literacy, which involves developing analytical skills to evaluate the quality of information disseminated by mass media. International in scope, the work includes a lengthy bibliography and references at the end of many entries. Watson and Hill's dictionary, which first appeared in 1984 and has become a standard work in the United Kingdom, furnishes broad coverage of mass communications terminology. Unfortunately, it has limited value in North America due to its heavy British emphasis, as evidenced by the entries on "Defamation," "Libel," and "Slander," for instance. Weiner's work, originally published in 1990 (LJ 6/15/90) and named an LJ Best Reference Book for that year, has been updated to reflect new vocabulary in the communications media, e.g., "home page" and "Internet." By far the largest and most current work of its kind, the lexicon concisely defines some 35,000 technical and slang terms in language readily comprehensible to nonspecialists. A work of impressive quality, Weiner's revised edition deserves a place in all but the smallest public and academic libraries. Only journalism and communications libraries need consider the other two works.‘Ken Kister, author of "Best Encyclopedias," Tampa, Fla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.