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News and the empowerment of citizens

[journal article]

Lewis, Justin

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Abstract This article argues that we need to take the democratic promise of news seriously and find ways to advance that promise. It begins by considering both the importance of news to democratic citizenship, and its failure to deliver in ways that do not compound social inequalities. It argues against more optimistic accounts of the state of democratic citizenship, but finds that the notion of public service journalism often lapses into a class-specific discourse for the information-rich. Meanwhile, current news values are contradictory and incoherent, allowing us space to build upon the democratic ideals in journalistic philosophy. The article then argues that citizenship should be brought from the margins of news to its centre. This means implicating citizenship into the news’s mode of address, of going beyond the narrow narratives of current news values and addressing broad citizenship concerns.
Keywords journalism; reporting; social inequality; professional ethics; democratic behavior; diversity of opinion; citizen orientation
Classification Communicator Research, Journalism
Free Keywords citizenship; democracy; journalism; news values;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 303-319
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9 (2006) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)