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Networked Selves

Trajectories of Blogging in the United States and France

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Ignacio Siles

Networked Selves is an original analysis of one of the most defining cultural features of our time: how people turn to the Web to construct a public self. It examines the trajectory of a practice that embodies this sociocultural shift in fundamental ways: blogging. The book traces the evolution of the Web as a means to publicly perform a self through an analysis of the emergence, development, and transformation of blogging from the mid-1990s to the early years of the 2010s. It discusses processes that have shaped practices of subjectivity on the Web over two decades in two countries: the United States and France. Through this comparative analysis, the book shows that the cultural identity of blogging as a practice of subjectivity in these countries is neither inevitable nor neutral. Instead, it demonstrates that the development of the Web required the forging of various articulations between specific conceptions of self, publicness, and technology. These articulations were responses to both transformations in the daily life of actors and larger economic, political, and cultural processes—notably neoliberalization. The book also explains how the cultural imaginary around blogs came into being in the United States and how it has also functioned as a model for actors in other countries, such as France. Networked Selves discusses how and why actors in the technology field in France have gradually abandoned traditional makers of exceptionalism that were key in the development of the country’s national identity and favored notions that characterize the United States instead.

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Digital Orientations

Non-Media-Centric Media Studies and Non-Representational Theories of Practice

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Shaun Moores

Might it be possible to rearticulate the term digital in digital media, so that it refers at least as much to the deft movements or orientations of hands and fingers (of digits) as it does to the new media technologies themselves? What if digital media are understood as manual media?

Has the academic field of media studies tended to focus too much on media, and not enough on the practices and experiences of daily living that help to give media their meaningfulness? What if media researchers were to pay more attention to knowledge-in-movement or to matters of orientation and habitation, and rather less to those of symbolic representation and cognitive interpretation?

Digital Orientations is a bold call for non-media-centric media studies (and ultimately for everyday-life studies) with a non-representational theoretical emphasis. The author engages here with a broad range of work from across the humanities and social sciences, drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological philosophy, Ingold’s anthropology, the geographies of Massey, Seamon and Thrift, and the sociologies of Bourdieu, Sudnow and Urry.

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Patienthood and Communication

A Personal Narrative of Eye Disease and Vision Loss

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Peter M. Kellett

Patienthood and Communication is an engagingly personal narrative detailing the author’s experience living with, and adapting to, a degenerative and incurable eye disease (MacTel). Beyond the personal, this poignant story more broadly illustrates the ways in which communication enables individuals to adjust to serious health threats.

Author and subject Peter Kellett highlights his important interactions with health care providers, family members, friends, colleagues, students, and others that provide shape to his journey. Kellett displays a compelling capacity for self-reflection in his descriptions of the life changes his vision loss imposes upon him, among them changes to his identity, in relationships and life plans. Adaptation and flexibility reveal themselves as central tenets of his learning to become a self-empowered patient. Perhaps the most crucial element to his adjustment is, however, positive communication, which is depicted throughout the book as the driving force in Kellett’s journey into patienthood.

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Reconsidering Obama

Reflections on Rhetoric

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Edited by Robert E. Terrill

Perhaps no other presidential candidate or sitting president has attracted as much attention from rhetorical critics as Barack Obama. Much of this work was conceived and written during Obama’s initial presidential campaign, or relatively early in his two terms in office. This book provides rhetorical critics an opportunity to revisit their published work on Obama in light of events that have occurred since its publication. In each chapter, these eminent critics begin by summarizing the analysis and conclusions in their original essays on Obama, and then reflect on their previous conclusions, revising or extending them in response to developments since the publication of the original work. The chapters provide a glimpse into the inventional strategies of practicing critics and into some of the ways that that critical insights may evolve over time. Scholars rarely have an opportunity to publish essays that reflect on their own previous work, even though few resources can be of greater use to both beginning critics and to established scholars seeking to continue to hone and reflect on their critical practice. This book, then, makes an important contribution not only to the existing literature on the 44th president of the United States, but also and perhaps most significantly to the study of the art and craft of rhetorical criticism.

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What Is Sustainable Journalism?

Integrating the Environmental, Social, and Economic Challenges of Journalism

Edited by Peter Berglez, Ulrika Olausson and Mart Ots

This edited volume, which elaborates on the idea and concept of sustainable journalism, is the result of a perceived lack of integral research approaches to journalism and sustainable development. Thirty years ago, in 1987, the Brundtland Report pointed out economic growth, social equality and environmental protection as the three main pillars of a sustainable development. These pillars are intertwined, interdependent, and need to be reconciled. However, usually, scholars interested in the business crisis of the media industry tend to leave the social and environmental dimensions of journalism aside, and vice versa. What Is Sustainable Journalism? is the first book that discusses and examines the economic, social and environmental challenges of professional journalism simultaneously. This unique book and fresh contribution to the discussion of the future of journalism assembles international expertise in all three fields, arguing for the necessity of integral research perspectives and for sustainable journalism as the key to long-term survival of professional journalism. The book is relevant for scholars and master’s students in media economy, media and communication, and environmental communication.

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Edited by Judy VanSlyke Turk and Jean Valin

The case studies in this book, many of which have won national or international awards, represent an impressive scope of public relations practice—from public diplomacy to corporate social responsibility to crisis communications to social justice issues and special events. These chapters take a significant step toward overcoming the dearth of published case studies in public relations beyond North America. Written by established scholars and professionals who had access to some of the world’s most intriguing and influential cases of organizational communication, these studies will be of tremendous interest to all who teach, study, and practice public relations around the world.

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Florian Zollmann

Prominent media scholars have argued that the dissemination of propaganda is an important function of the news media. Yet, despite public controversies about ‘fake news’ and ‘misinformation’, there has been very little discussion on techniques of propaganda. Building on critical theory, most notably Herman and Chomsky’s Propaganda Model, Florian Zollmann’s pioneering study brings propaganda back to the forefront of the debate. On the basis of a forensic examination of 1,911 newspaper articles, Zollmann investigates US, UK and German media reporting of the military operations in Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt. The book demonstrates how ‘humanitarian intervention’ and ‘R2P’ are only evoked in the news media if so called ‘enemy’ countries of Western states are the perpetrators of human rights violations. Zollmann’s work evidences that the news media plays a crucial propaganda role in facilitating a selective process of shaming during the build-up towards military interventions. This process has led to an erosion of internationally agreed norms of non-intervention, as enshrined in the UN Charter.

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Spiritual News

Reporting Religion Around the World

Edited by Yoel Cohen

The media's coverage of religion is an important question for academic researchers, given the central role which news media play in ensuring that people are up-to-date with religion news developments. Not only is there a lack of treatment of the subject in other countries, but there is also the absence of comparative study on news and religion. A key question is how the media, the political system, the religions themselves, the culture, and the economy influence how religion is reported in different countries. Spiritual News: Reporting Religion Around the World is intended to fill this gap. The book is divided into six parts: an introductory section; the newsgathering process; religion reporting in different regions; media events concerning religion; political and social change and the role of religion news; future trends.

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Terrorizing the Masses

Identity, Mass Shootings, and the Media Construction of «Terror»

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Ruth DeFoster

Why are some crimes identified as acts of terrorism, while others are not? How are critical terms like «terrorism» and «mass shooting» defined and understood in the 21st century? What are some of the causes of the unique American epidemic of mass shootings and gun violence? Terrorizing the Masses considers the invisible role that the media play in shaping the way we think about terrorism, gun violence, fear, and identity. This book explores media coverage of five mass shootings over a 20-year period, examining the role that race, religion, and gender play in framing some of the most high-profile crimes of American society. The results of this research show that the use of «terrorism» is uneven and inconsistent. Indeed, on a practical level, «terrorism» is an almost meaningless word – it is slippery and ephemeral, and its utility is largely in propaganda. This book succinctly analyzes what «terror» means in the 21st century, how news media use the term, and how journalists can cover tragedy without falling prey to the pitfalls of sensationalism, fear, and contagion. This book is a useful text for courses on media ethics, crime and public policy, political science, terrorism studies, and communication studies.

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Media Ecology

An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition

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Lance Strate

Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition provides a long-awaited and much anticipated introduction to media ecology, a field of inquiry defined as the study of media as environments. Lance Strate presents a clear and concise explanation of an intellectual tradition concerned with much more than understanding media, but rather with understanding the conditions that shape us as human beings, drive human history, and determine the prospects for our survival as a species.

Much more than a summary, this book represents a new synthesis that moves the field forward in a manner that is both unique and unprecedented, and simultaneously grounded in an unparalleled grasp of media ecology's intellectual foundations and its relation to other disciplines. Taking as its subject matter "life, the universe, and everything," Strate describes the field as interdisciplinary and communication-centered, provides a detailed explication of McLuhan's famous aphorism, "the medium is the message," and explains that the human condition can only be understood in the context of our biophysical, technological, and symbolic environments.

Strate provides an in-depth examination of media ecology's four key terms: medium, which is defined in much broader terms than in other fields; bias, which refers to tendencies inherent in materials and methods; effects, which are best understood via the Aristotelian notion of formal causality and contemporary systems theory; and environment, which includes the distinctions between the oral, chirographic, typographic, and electronic media environments. A chapter on tools serves as a guide to further media ecological research and scholarship. This book is well suited for graduate and undergraduate courses on communication theory and philosophy.