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.

The Evolution of Infotainment
The evolution of infotainment

The following verse appeared in a book published to mark the centenary of the Daily Mail, Britain's oldest surviving popular newspaper, established in 1896:

Tickle the public, make ‘em grin,

The more you tickle the more you'll win;

Teach the public, you'll never get rich,

You'll live like a beggar and die in a ditch.

(Anon, cited in Engel, 1996)

These four lines of verse sum up rather well the importance of ‘tickling the public’. That crime, celebrity and human interest stories are more marketable than coverage of political or policy issues is well attested in most histories of journalism. News as entertainment has a long and venerable tradition, from the broadside ballad to the yellow and tabloid press, from cinema newsreels to television. ...

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