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Patricia Aufderheide (2000). The Daily Planet: A Critic on the Capitalist Culture Beat. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). xv + 347 pp. ISBN 0-8166-3342-8, $19.95 (paper). Chapter references.

This collection of critical essays is a very personal set of statements-but these more than two dozen statements are informed by a great deal of research and thought. They have been updated, and are organized in four parts: popular culture in context, communication and the public interest, independent and international media, and "living with the media."

Aufderheide is a "public intellectual" in the full sense of the word-as a look at the list of original copyrights for these essays will show. They appeared in scholarly journals, popular magazines, and daily newspapers (and in other venues), forcing the author to be both precise and entertaining while on deadline.

Patricia Aufderheide devoted a lot of time and travel to this book-but it is largely informed (and formed) by her years as an arts critic with a very broad portfolio. From that position at the crossroads of journalism and the arts, and from an often-activist political perspective, she has developed a clearer vision than most of what she calls "the culture of daily life under capitalism." It is no surprise to find this clear eye directed at many of the rituals of the media, from Paul Harvey to films about war and from the feature film to the Internet.

The above article was published in Media Ethics , Spring 2004 (15:2), p. 33.