Taking Journalism Seriously: News and the Academy argues that scholars have remained too entrenched within their own disciplinary areas resulting in isolated bodies of scholarship. This is the first book to critically survey journalism scholarship in one volume and organize it by disparate fields. The book reviews existing journalism research in such diverse fields as sociology, history, language studies, political science, and cultural analysis and dissects the most prevalent and understated research in each discipline.
Chapter 6: Political Science and Journalism
When compared with other scholarly views on journalism and journalistic practice, the perspective offered by most scholars in political science has been decidedly normative. Falling under the rubric of “interested research,” this scholarship typically examines journalism through a vested interest in the political world. In large part concerned with the optimum functioning of the political system that rests alongside journalism, its considerations derive from long-standing expectations about the news media acting in democracies as government's fourth estate. Questions about “mediated democracy” (Orren 1986; McNair 2000a), “mediacracy” (Taylor 1990), “mediated political realities” (Nimmo and Combs 1983), “media politics” (Arterton 1984; Bennett 1988), and “whether the media govern” (Iyengar and Reeves 1997) are key here, derived from an assumption of ...