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.

Politics, Journalism and New Media: Virtual Iron Cages in the New Culture of Capitalism

Politics, journalism and new media: Virtual iron cages in the new culture of capitalism


This chapter looks at the ways new media is influencing mediated engagement between politicians, journalists and their publics. Its starting point is a critique of the dominant research approaches guide much enquiry here: the ‘technological-determinist’ and ‘democratic-normative’ lines. These merge democratic communication ideals with ICT potential to produce a blueprint for ‘more democratic’ forms of mediated public communication. New media enhances communicative exchange and thus brings stronger forms of ‘social capital’ (Putnam's 2000 definition). To date, in politics and journalism, such expectations have remained relatively unfulfilled. To investigate why, the research presented here takes more of a ‘social ...

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