John Nathan Anderson

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Media and CommunicationsJohn Nathan Anderson’s new book, Radio’s Digital Dilemma: Broadcasting in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014), documents the somewhat tortured path of broadcast radio’s digital transition in the United States.  Beginning his analysis with rise of neoliberal communications policy in the 1980s, Anderson charts the development of the idea of digitalization by closely examining two key archival sources: The Federal Communication Commission’s extensive archive of rulemaking and public comments and the archives of the two most important trade journals in broadcast radio, Radio World and Current.

As Anderson explores in the book, FCC regulatory neglect coupled with the huge consolidation within the radio industry following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 resulted in a digital transition that was dictated largely by commercial interests.  For example, the most important decision about digital radio – the engineering standard for digital broadcasting – was determined by a federation of corporations that formed a proprietary standard called HD Radio.  This new digital standard was a failure on a number of levels, argues Anderson.  First, it was at odds with the global digital radio standard, Eureka 147.  Second, it caused unwanted interference with analog radio signals.  Third, the corporate entity which owned the rights to the HD Radio standard, iBiquity, was determined to charge local stations a fee for using its digital radio standard.  Once digital radio began to roll out across the nation in 2002, local stations’ and listeners’ complaints about interference and bad reception were effectively drowned out by a sustained marketing effort on behalf of HD Radio’s corporate partners.  Today, the future of digital radio in the United States is in doubt: only 13% of all stations are broadcasting a digital signal.  Throughout the book, Anderson argues that the lack of regulatory guidance and oversight, coupled with blind allegiance to market forces, has resulted in a radio environment that falls well short of our aspirations for a democratic media system.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Vili Lehdonvirta and Edward CastronovaVirtual Economies: Design and Analysis

June 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Book in Technology] The continued growth of online gaming and virtual worlds has effects not only in the analog world, with games and social media organizations taking stock options public, but also in the worlds created online. Many games and platforms allow users to involve themselves in virtual labor, to own property, and most [...]

Read the full article →

James W. RussellSocial Insecurity: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis

May 20, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Sociology] Jim Russell is a sociologist and it was his encounter with the hidden realities of his own 401(k) retirement plan that touched off his crusade to demystify for himself, and then others, just what was at stake in the options presented by private and public retirement plans. In Social Insecurity: 401(k)s and [...]

Read the full article →

Brett ScottThe Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money

May 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Brett Scott is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (Pluto Press, 2013). Scott is a journalist, urban deep ecologist, and Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab. While much of Scott’s book focuses on explaining various aspects of the financial services section, the heart of the book [...]

Read the full article →

Benjamin RadcliffThe Political Economy of Human Happiness: How Voters’ Choices Determine the Quality of Life

May 1, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Big Ideas] Americans are very politically divided. Democrats say we need a more powerful welfare state while Republicans say we need to maintain the free market. The struggle, we are constantly informed, is one of ideas. And that it is in the worst possible sense, for neither the Democrats nor Republicans [...]

Read the full article →

Nicholas CarnesWhite-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making

March 31, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Nicholas Carnes is the author of White-Collar Government: The Hidden Role of Class in Economic Policy Making (University of Chicago Press, 2013). Carnes is an assistant professor of public policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. There is surprisingly little in the research literature on the link between social [...]

Read the full article →

Odette LienauRethinking Sovereign Debt: Politics, Reputation, and Legitimacy in Modern Finance

March 9, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Law] In 1927 Russian-American legal theorist Alexander Sack introduced the doctrine of “odious debt.” Sack argued that a state’s debt is “odious” and should not be transferable to successor governments after a revolution, if it was incurred without the consent of the people; and not for their benefit. This doctrine has [...]

Read the full article →

Timothy ShenkMaurice Dobb: Political Economist

February 22, 2014

[Cross-post from New Books in Intellectual History] The British Marxist economist Maurice Dobb is now largely forgotten. That’s too bad for a number of reasons. He was a brilliant thinker who wrote some of the most insightful analyses of the development and workings of capitalism around. You can still read his work and profit. He was [...]

Read the full article →

Philip MirowskiNever Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

November 4, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Philip Mirowski is author of Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown (Verso Books 2013). Mirowski is the Carl Koch Chair of Economics and the History of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He’s previous authored Science-Mart, Machine Dreams, and More Heat than Light. Mirowski brings his [...]

Read the full article →

Robyn RodriguezMigrants for Export: How the Philippine State Brokers Labor to the World

October 30, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Book in Asian American Studies] While it has become typical to see Filipina/o migrants working in nursing or domestic work in the United States, many are surprised to see Filipina/os doing the same work in Hong Kong, Israel, and Dubai. Indeed, Filipina/o workers are ubiquitous around the globe, and may be the world’s first [...]

Read the full article →