Most people believe that the freedom of the media is an essential prerequisite of a modern democracy. Yet there is also a growing conviction that the media are turning democratic politics into a branch of show business. Contemporary politics have been trivialised into a series of sound-bites and photo opportunities, and the `classical' role of the media as a forum for rational debate between rival ideas has been traded for media controlled by collective institutions and management hierarchies.*BR**BR*In Media Freedom, Richard Barbrook explores this transition from popular participation to corporate centralisation, focusing on the history of the French media as a model to determine why the spread of the media to all sections of the population has resulted in the exclusion of most people from its production. *BR**BR*Barbrook traces the origin of media freedom as a positive right, explores the proliferation of an increasingly global media and examines the re-emergence of self-produced media through computer networks and community broadcasting. Media Freedom is an innovative approach to media studies, challenging the apolitical stance of the discipline and offering a fresh understanding of the current debates about media and freedom.