• 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.

Redefining Journalism: Citizens, Blogs and the Rise of Opinion
Redefining journalism: Citizens, blogs and the rise of opinion

Among the prime casualties of the demotic turn is the professional production of journalism. As newspaper proprietors talk of dwindling prospects for the print media, as television news and current affairs programming continues to morph into entertainment and lifestyle genres, and as news and current affairs on radio is turned over to the populist talk show host, the prospects for traditional journalism look bleak. Ironically, at the same time, the public has never had such a comprehensive and continuous access to news, and new kinds of journalism seem to be emerging every day through online platforms or subscription television. However, the expansion of the supply of news through ...

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