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.

Infotainment and ‘Neo-Liberal Imperialism’

Infotainment and ‘neo-liberal imperialism’

‘In a world increasingly saturated by information,’ Castells notes, ‘the most effective messages are the most simple, and the most ambivalent, so that they leave room for people's own projections. Images best fit into this characterization. Audiovisual media are the primary feeders of people's minds, as they relate to public affairs’ (Castells, 2004: 372). The importance of the image and illusions in capitalist societies was emphasized by Daniel Boorstin way back in 1961 with the publication of his book, The Image. ‘The making of the illusions which flood our experience has become the business of America,’ he wrote, adding that Americans ‘suffer primarily’ not from their ‘vices’ or ‘weaknesses’, but from their ‘illusions’; haunted, not by reality, but ...

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