Denis McQuail

Perspectives on Mass Communication is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Denis McQuail (1935-2017), who was Emeritus Professor at the University of Amsterdam and Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential scholars in the history of mass communication studies.This wide-ranging conversation provides detailed insights into how examining the media, and in particular mass media, necessarily involves a careful, probing look at our societal values; the concepts, metrics and ideas that McQuail developed to measure the sociological influence of the media; the critical role of journalism in society and more.

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, A Sense of Perspective, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

  1. Plunging into the Media – The beginnings of a unique career
  2. Getting Rigorous – “Mass Communication Theory” arrives
  3. Journalism and Society –  Looking more broadly
  4. Bringing It Home – The view from the street
  5. Towards the Future – Optimism and pessimism


Available in electronic format on all major booksellers, including:





Perspectives on Mass Communication is also part of the five-part Ideas Roadshow CollectionConversations About Language & Culture, which is available in both paperback and electronic format.