chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 17

T his is one of a number of books in a series of handbooks produced by Routledgefor students of the arts, media and cultural studies and social sciences. Existingtitles include the mainstream media of newspapers, radio, advertising, television, photography, magazines and public relations. The Cyberspace Handbook in this series is a useful companion to this book. The style and approach of each book is different; there is no house style, but they have in common the aim to articulate what is involved in the professional practice of contemporary media. To paraphrase the series editor, James Curran, the aim of the series is to provide comprehensive resource books that are something between a ‘how-to-do-it’ manual and a critical reflection of contemporary media. In the case of new media this is no easy task because, as the reader will soon discover, new media is, by its very nature, a hybrid practice involving a wide range of practical skills and intellectual resources as well as numerous competing critical commentaries. We have chosen to grapple with the essential diversity of our subject by combining critical commentary, descriptive and historical accounts with a series of edited interviews with new media practitioners. In doing this we hope that we provide a sufficiently broad selection of material to construct a kind of ‘map’ of some of the established and emergent ‘territories’ of new media practice.