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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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JON SILVERMAN Cats, convicts and clerics

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: how the media and politicians have framed the Human Rights Act The relationship between mass media and policy has been examined with varying degrees of plausibility, by several generations of scholars (the work of McCombs and Shaw 1972; Herman and Chomsky 1988; Bennett 1990; Robinson 2002 being just a few of the milestones over the years). This inquiry takes its standpoint from the argument that, the media’s impact on the public policy simply is too broad a question to be answered. It can only be dealt with when split up into small and theoretically and empirically manageable sub-questions: which media, which politics and what impact ? (Walgrave and Lefevere 2010: 44) Two of those sub-questions can be easily answered. It is the UK’s written press, mainly, but not exclusively, the tabloid and middle-market sections of it, which is of interest here. Furthermore, it is the relationship with the politics of ‘scapegoating’, or ‘media-oriented populism’ that is under scrutiny (Meyer and Hinchman 2002: 77). As to the third sub-question, no promises will be made about the measurement of ‘impact’ – surely, the most heavily used term in communication discourse. Rather, the intention is to justify the word ‘framed’ as used in the title of this chapter. At the risk of stating the obvious, the focus will be on f leshing out two of its mean- ings: the vernacular sense, to manufacture or falsify the evidence in order to indict someone or something, and the landmark Entman definition, to place an interpretative frame around...

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