Media and Politics in Pacific Asia is the first book to provide a detailed account of the political influences exerted by both domestic and international media in Pacific Asia. Duncan McCargo argues that the media are political actors and institutions in their own right, and that as such they can play a variety of political roles, some of which support processes of demographic transition and consolidation, and some which do just the opposite. Drawing on first-hand research in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand - and employing comparative examples that include Burma, Malaysia and the Phillipines - Duncan McCargo examines the various influences of the Media as agents of stability, restraint and change. He also analyses pressures on the media from a range of state, n-state and market forces, and sets out to problematize simplistic readings of issues such as media freedom, ownership, partisanship, profitability, regulation and public interest. The result is an in-depth and fascinating study of the interplay between the media and the political process. Written in a clear and accessible style with numerous examples, this highly original book will be useful to academics, students, journalists, and general readers interested in Asian studies, media and politics.
Duncan McCargo is Professor of Southeast Asian politics at the University of Leeds.