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Br(e)aking the News

Journalism, Politics and New Media

Edited By Janey Gordon, Paul Rowinski and Gavin Stewart

What is the breaking news in the world today? How did you find out this news? How do you know it is true? Was it reported ethically? What checks and balances are being put on the news media?
The answers to these questions reflect the themes of this book. The chapters are by experienced journalists, academics and practitioners in the field. They unravel and clearly present the recent and on-going developments in journalism and the press around the globe, including the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. Chapters deal with the phone hacking and data thefts in the UK that provoked a major inquiry into press ethics and standards. Twitter is examined and found to be a valuable tool for reporters in the Arab world and research shows how, in Australia, readers use Twitter to pass along news topics. Chapters also explore the use of the mobile phone to access news in sub-Saharan Nigeria, the role of media magnates in presenting political views in Europe, and Wikipedia’s representation of conflict. This collection of fourteen chapters by leading authors examines journalism as practised today and what we might expect from it in the future.

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PAUL ROWINSKI Berlusconi, Murdoch and the power of persuasion over Europe

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Europe may be facing its most serious challenge since World War II. Individual nationhood is proving hardy and national journalism does little to open public discussion or explore matters surrounding European issues, such as the euro crisis. In 2006 the European Commission in its White Paper on European Communication Policy noted that the public sphere in political life is largely national: To the extent that European issues appear on the agenda at all, they are seen by most citizens from a national perspective. (EC 2006: p. 4) Despite the growth in new media platforms, which have supported demo- cratic processes in many areas of the globe (most pertinently in Italy),1 a European public sphere using such arenas, does not seem imminent (Fossum and Schlesinger 2007: 12) European financiers such as George Soros2 feel that national self-preservation appears de rigeur, further entrenched by the euro crisis: 1 Following the March 2013 election, nationally celebrated comic, Beppe Grillo and his anti-Establishment Five Star movement hold the balance of power in Italy. The grillini MPs are all novices, elected in online primaries. Social Networking was key to developing the potency of this new political force in Italian politics. 2 George Soros is one of the world’s leading financiers and philanthropists and was dubbed ‘the man who broke the Bank of England’ as he speculated and earned a fortune over the bank’s inactivity over the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992. 66 PAUL ROWINSKI The policies pursued under German leadership will likely hold...

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