Monday, July 27, 2009

Overcooking Neoliberalism: Des Freedman's The Politics of Media Policy

I have observed that the term neoliberalism is in my view over-used, and has lost much descriptive clarity as it has become something of an omnibus term of abuse for anything or anyone who you happen to disagree with. Increasingly, the term functions in much the same way as the word "bourgeois" did for radicals in the 1970s.

In order to clarify with an example, I have provided a link to a review I have undertaken of Des Freedman's The Politics of Media Policy (Polity Press, 2008). An edited version of this review of Des Freedman's The Politics of Media Policy appeared in Australian Journalism Review, Vol. 30 No. 2, December 2008, pp. 127-129. This journal, however, which can be hard to find online, as the Web site is four years out of date (NB: this link may not be accessible to you - I got it from the Informit database which QUT subscribes to).

My conclusion on Freedman's book was:

The Politics of Media Policy opens with a highly insightful analysis of how to do media policy studies in original and significant ways. Unfortunately, by anchoring its empirical analysis closely to a desire to expose the hidden machinations of neo-liberal ideology, it loses focus the more that it moves out of the dominant terrain of political economy in the study of media ownership. Des Freedman has pointed to important new directions in media policy studies, but has unfortunately only got half way to developing a new synthesis for understanding the relationship between policy institutions and broader ideas.
For more read here.

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