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The Integrated News Spectacle

A Political Economy of Cultural Performance


James R. Compton

The Integrated News Spectacle examines the rational organization of control of popular news forms. It uses spectacular media events – such as the mourning of Princess Diana, the Monica Lewinsky presidential scandal, and the Gulf wars of 1991 and 2003 – as entry points into a discussion of the broader context surrounding an integrated system of commodity production, distribution and exchange.
James R. Compton critiques the generally accepted notion of tabloidization associated with media spectacles, and situates these dramatic narratives within a broad historical context. Drawing on the work of Guy Debord, David Harvey, and Pierre Bourdieu, this book explains how the power relationships associated with media events can best be comprehended by revealing the practical application of the logic of spectacle – a logic characterized by the transposable circulation and promotion of cultural commodities.

«A vivid, hard-hitting study of today’s news business. James R. Compton not only shows exactly how media conglomerates are subordinating journalism – an indispensable foundation of democratic self-government – to a pervasive ‘promotional logic’, but also explains how news is being integrated into a 24/7 corporate-state spectacle. This is a powerful work of demystification. Read all about it!» (Dan Schiller, Research Professor of Communications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)