Richly detailed and empirically grounded, this first book-length study of infotainment and its globalization by a leading scholar of global communication, offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of this emerging phenomenon. Going beyond - both geographically and theoretically - the ‘dumbing down’ discourse, largely confined to the Anglo-American media, the book argues that infotainment may have an important ideological role, a diversion in which ‘soft news’ masks the hard realities of neo-liberal imperialism.
At a talk I gave to a group of journalists from around the world attending a seminar at Oxford University's Reuters Institute on the state of television news and its tendency to trivialise public discourse, I was struck by the response: virtually all the Reuters Fellows present found echoes of what I was describing in the television landscape of their own country. Of course there were differences of emphasis and degree in the extent and nature of the change, but not about the underlying theme which connected television news across countries: the deleterious effect of marketization on broadcast journalism.
Renowned journalist C.P. Scott, the long-time editor of the British newspaper the Guardian, remarked on the arrival of television in 1936: ‘The word is half Greek ...