The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'The Creation of the Media': The American Information Revolution "Although Starr doesn't put it quite this way, the heart of his argument is that Americans fundamentally misunderstand what is unusual about their communications media, and why. ''The media,'' for Starr's purposes, include not just the print press but also books, broadcasts (radio and television), the movies and other innovations, notably including telephones, that allow people to share information. Conventionally, Americans think that the most important fact about their news media is that, thanks to the First Amendment, they are ''free.'' The absence of governmental controls over parts of the media -- though not all, as witness broadcasters' wrangles with the Federal Communications Commission -- has indeed made America's communications system distinctive. But the emphasis on the First Amendment implies that the media's evolution has been automatic and unplanned."
The start of the book's first chapter is on-line.