Show Less

Mediated Authenticity

How the Media Constructs Reality

Gunn Enli

This book explores the paradox of mediated authenticity – the idea that our understanding of society is based on mediated representations of reality. Enli argues that mediated authenticity is established through negotiations between producers and audiences in what is coined the ‘authenticity contract’. Sometimes the contract is broken, leading to authenticity scandals and the need to renegotiate this contract. These moments of truth, some of which are analysed in this book, are important moments in media history. Through case studies, this book examines mediated authenticity in broadcast and online media, from the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, quiz show scandals, to manufactured reality-TV shows, blog hoaxes and fake social media, and the construction of Obama as an authentic politician. The book demonstrates that authenticity has become an increasingly important factor in the media, and that solving ‘authenticity puzzles’ – separating the fake from the real – has become an inherent practice of media use.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Abbate, J. (2000). Inventing the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Abunimah, A. (2011, December 6). New evidence about Amina, the “Gay Girl in Damascus” hoax. Retrieved from about-amina-gay-girl-damascus-hoax Adorno, T. W. (1973). The Jargon of authenticity. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press (Original work published 1964). Adorno, T. W. (1991). The Culture industry. Selected essays on mass culture. London, England & New York, NY: Routledge. Adorno, T. W., & Horkheimer, M. (2002). The culture industry: Enlightenment as mass de- ception. In T. W. Adorno & M. Horkheimer (Eds.), Dialectic of enlightenment: Philosophical fragments (pp. 94–136). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press (Essay originally pub- lished 1944). Altheide, D., & Michalowski, S. R. (1999). Fear in the news: A discourse of control. Sociological Quarterly, 475–503. Anderson, K. (1978). Television fraud. The history and implications of the quiz show scandals. West- port, CT: Greenwood Press. Anderson, T., & Milbrandt, M. K. (2005). Art for life: Authentic instruction in art. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. Aslama, M., & Pantti, M. (2006). Talking alone: Reality TV, emotions and authenticity. Euro- pean Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(2), 167–184. Aspects of dogma. (2000, December). Retrieved from artc1A.html 140 mediated authenticity Banet-Weiser, S. (2012). Authentic TM. The politics of ambivalence in a brand culture. New York, NY & London, England: New York University Press. Barker, H., & Taylor, Y. (2007). Faking it: The quest for authenticity in popular music. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company. Barnouw, E. (1970). A history of broadcasting in the United States. Volume...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.