Journalism and Democracy: An Evaluation of the Political Public Sphere

By Brian McNair | Go to book overview

3


POLICY, PROCESS, PERFORMANCE AND SLEAZE

qualitative features of the journalism which that public sphere contains - its priorities and themes, the accuracy of its information, its styles and idioms - are of at least equal importance in assessing the true extent of the ‘crisis of public communication’ outlined in Chapter 1. This chapter thus asks a different set of questions. What is political journalism about? Which aspects of political life does it report? Which kinds of political knowledge does it make available to its audiences? And on the basis of the answers to these questions, how valuable is it as a cognitive resource?

Politics as news

Politics has always been a core element in the agenda of liberal journalism (Boston, 1990). It was, indeed, public demand for information about and discussion of power and political affairs which fuelled the development of the modern media as means of reportage, analysis and critical scrutiny, and in the late twentieth century, far from being abandoned on the altar of crass commercialism, coverage of politics has increased. This has not been because of some noble journalistic mission to fulfil the normative ideals of the fourth estate (although many journalists approach their work with that goal). On the contrary, as the organisational pressures on journalists intensified and the technological conditions of coverage improved (the introduction of TV cameras into the House of Commons, for example, or the availability of lightweight recording equipment and ‘radio cars’ which allowed political interviews to be conducted more or less anywhere, anytime), as the public sphere expanded, and with it the space available for news, politics became a steadily more convenient source of journalistic raw material. A broadcast political editor remarks that for the great majority of British news media:

-42-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Journalism and Democracy: An Evaluation of the Political Public Sphere
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Journalism and Democracy 1
  • 2 - The Political Public Sphere 14
  • 3 - Policy, Process, Performance and Sleaze 42
  • 4 - The Interpretative Moment 61
  • 5 - The Interrogative Moment 84
  • 6 - The Sound of the Crowd 105
  • 7 - Spin, Whores, Spin 122
  • 8 - The Media and Politics, 1992-97 140
  • 9 - Political Journalism and the Crisis of Mass Representation 171
  • Notes 180
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 199
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 206

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.