Have new communications technologies revitalized the public sphere, or become the commercial tool for an increasingly un-public, undemocratic news media? Are changing journalistic practices damaging the nature of news, or are new media allowing journalists to do more journalism and to engage the public more effectively?

With massive changes in the media environment and its technologies, interrogating the nature of news journalism is one of the most urgent tasks we face in defining the public interest today. The implications are serious, not just for the future of the news, but also for the practice of democracy.

In a thorough empirical investigation of journalistic practices in different news contexts, New Media, Old News explores how technological, economic, and social changes have reconfigured news journalism, and the consequences of these transformations for a vibrant democracy in our digital age. The result is a piercing examination of why understanding news journalism matters now more than ever. It is essential reading for students and scholars of journalism and new media.

Liberal Dreams and the Internet

Liberal dreams and the internet
JamesCurran and TamaraWitschge

Introduction

The international public sphere is now regularly referred to as something that actually exists (for example, Volkmer, 2003; Bohman, 2004; Calhoun, 2004).1 It is invested with almost the same sense of reality as the World Trade Organization and the International Criminal Court. All are supposedly integral parts of the new global polity.

By ‘international public sphere’, most critical theorists intend more than just a synonym for international civil society in which organized groups seek to exert public influence on a transnational basis (something that dates back to at least the late eighteenth century when campaigns were mounted in Britain, France and America against the slave trade). What leading critical analysts like Nancy Fraser (2007) have ...

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