For academics and students who spend time trawling the internet and various statistical manuals for up-to-date, reliable information on worldwide media, this book is a godsend.
The Global Media Atlas is truly global in its conception and reach, providing, in more than 50 colour maps and illustrations, information on topics as diverse as the spread of the information society, newspaper circulation and children's perceptions of their own representation on television.
It covers the whole range of media, looking at the moving-image industry, press, radio and advertising, information technologies and the information age, as well as the impact of globalisation and media ownership. The statistics in the tables at the back of the book will be of particular use for comparative work.
The variety of appealing graphics makes this an easy-to-use and accessible source. No longer will lecturers think twice about asking students to pursue statistical research; this book will grab the imagination of even the most statistic-phobic student.
What makes The Global Media Atlas stand out is not only visual presentation but also the informed and informative commentary that accompanies each section.
It aims to be "the one-stop shop guide" but is so much more than this, filling a gap in the provision of factual information about global convergence, new media and the disparities across the media world. As such it will undoubtedly be of use not only to media and cultural studies courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level but also to the plethora of new globalisation degrees now springing up.
As with all collections of statistical information, the challenge for the authors now is to keep the project rolling, ensuring subsequent editions are kept up to date.
Chris Newbold is lecturer in mass communication, Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester.
The Global Media Atlas. First edition
Author - Mark Balnaves, James Donald and Stephanie Hemelryk Donald
ISBN - 0 85170 860 9
Publisher - BFI Publishing
Price - £14.99
Pages - 128