• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“An outstanding intervention in contemporary debates about the emancipatory potential of the new media landscape. While “power to the people” may be the rallying cry in an age of blogging, Web 2.0 interactivity, and reality TV, Turner cautions against confusing the “demotic” with democracy…Ordinary People and the Media is required reading for students and scholars navigating the shifting terrain of media and cultural studies.”

— Serra Tinic, University of Alberta, Canada

The ‘demotic turn’ is a term coined by Graeme Turner to describe the increasing visibility of the ‘ordinary person’ in the media today.

In this dynamic and insightful book he explores the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of the ‘everyday’ individual's willingness to turn themselves into media content through:

  • Celebrity culture
  • Reality TV
  • DIY websites
  • Talk radio
  • User-generated materials online

Analyzing the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, this book further develops the idea of the demotic turn as a means of examining the common elements in a range of ‘hot spots’ within media and cultural studies today.

Refuting the proposition that the demotic turn necessarily carries with it a democratizing politics, this book examines its political and cultural function in media production and consumption across many fields – including print and electronic news, current affairs journalism, and citizen and online journalism.

It examines these fields in order to outline a structural shift in what the western media has been doing lately, and to suggest that these media activities represent something much more fundamental than contemporary media fashion.

Ordinary People: Celebrity, Tabloid Culture and the Function of the Media1
Ordinary people: Celebrity, tabloid culture and the function of the media
Ordinary Celebrities

Let me begin by reviewing the recent trends in the production of celebrity which provoke the kind of questions I want to raise. I am by no means the first to have noticed what has become quite a programmatic shift in the preferred territory for the development of celebrity through particular media platforms – television and the internet in particular. This is a shift from the elite to the ordinary. ‘Ordinariness’, to be sure, has always occupied a place among the repertoire of celebrity discourses as well as within the core programming formats of western television itself (Bonner, 2003). Elsewhere, Frances Bonner, P. ...

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