Books from Our Faculty: The Digital Difference by W. Russell Neuman

The Digital Difference: Media Technology and the Theory of Communication Effects

by W. Russell Neuman

Harvard University Press (2016) In his new book, W. Russell Neuman, professor of media technology at NYU Steinhardt, examines how the transition from the industrial era of media publishing and broadcasting to today’s digital age of online searches and social media has changed the dynamics of public life.

In this digital age, our fundamental beliefs about privacy and identity are subject to change. Neuman argues that the digital marketplace must be open to all ideas so that the most powerful ideas win public attention on their merits rather than on the taken-for-granted authority of their authorship. The book traces the digital difference from the era of propaganda studies and concerns about Big Brother to issues of information overload and the core policy debate about Internet network neutrality.

Describing The Digital Difference, Manuel Castells, University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, writes that the “essential book…accurately charts the structure and dynamics of communication in the digital age by examining the interaction between technology, culture, institutions, business, and social evolution.”