The Ascent of Media tells the whole story of media from its earliest incarnation in the clay tablets of Gilgamesh, through the Gutenberg press, right up to Google and the unfurling world of digital content. The Ascent of Media is a narrative history of the media in its every form, from theatre to posters to video games, and told with a host of fascinating fact and anecdote. Opening up a whole new forum for debate, Parry argues that contemporary media is not, as the doomsayers suggest, in decline, but on the cusp of a new era – one in which it will adapt, evolve and thrive. History teaches us that media cannot and do not die. This is a startling account of the mediums that inform us, shape us, move us and make us, and a rallying call to innovators of the future.
Roger Parry began his career working for Saatchi & Saatchi, then worked as a journalist for the BBC, LBC and ITV and a consultant with McKinsey and Company. Chairman and CEO of the international division of Clear Channel Communications Inc between 1998 and 2006, he has always sat in the upper echelons of the global media industry. As it stands he is Chairman of four publicly listed companies – representing every aspect of the media from publishing to market research to Shakespeare's Globe Trust.
“Whatever the technology, mankind has always enjoyed a good story. The Ascent of Media tells a cracking story with a cornucopia of insights. Read Roger Parry and you’re equipped to imagine where digital media might take us next.” —Peter Bazalgette, TV producer and President, Royal Television Society “The Ascent of Media is a wonderful overview of the history of all forms of media and the key people responsible for their development. It leaves the reader in no doubt as to its power to influence our opinions and emotions, to leverage commercial and political messages, stimulate the senses and at the same time enhance our productivity.” —Neil Blackley, Director, Ingenious Media, ex-Head of UK and European Media Research, Merrill Lynch “Media are going through huge changes. This book provides a thought provoking read and a terrific insight into how we got to where we are now and where media might go next.” —James Palumbo, Founder of the Ministry of Sound “The aptly titled Ascent of Media is a must for anyone with even a passing interest in today’s vast and exploding world of media. From students of the industry to the leaders of businesses who may struggle to know how to spend their shareholders’ advertising money wisely, Roger Parry provides insights into what is really happening in the digital chaos of the twenty-first century.” —Richard Wheatly, Chief Executive of Jazz FM Roger Parry is extra-ordinarily well placed to provide this informed tour d’horizon of media. It is rare to find insight illuminated by both creative and commercial expertise. But no appraisal of the development of modern media would be complete without such an inclusive perspective. Parry is exceptionally well placed to provide it. --Richard Eyre, Chairman of the UK Internet Advertising Bureau and Former CEO of Capital Radio plc and ITV
From The Guardian's Review: Roger Parry is a wise, experienced media operator and observer. His range is wide – across books, comics, radio, movies, video games, theatre and more – with eclectic taste and a gift for detail. But one theme, essentially, covers all. He perceives a public hunger for information, entertainment, and shared experience growing invention by invention, device by device: he extrapolates Aristotle's city on a global scale. He stresses ways as well as means. Were Defoe and mates the first bloggers? Were the random collection of contributors who compiled the earliest news sheets really citizen journalists? He binds evolving society and accelerating communication together. He seems to see the whole picture. To view the whole review, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/18/ascent-media-roger-parry-review