In this broad-ranging text, Peter Dahlgren clarifies the underlying theoretical concepts of civil society and the public sphere, and relates these to a critical analysis of the practice of television as journalism, as information and as entertainment. He demonstrates the limits and the possibilities of the television medium and the formats of popular journalism. These issues are linked to the potential of the audience to interpret or resist messages, and to construct its own meanings. What does a realistic understanding of the functioning and the capabilities of television imply for citizenship and democracy in a mediated age?

Popular Television Journalism

Popular television journalism

Mainstream, mimetic television would seem to lend itself eminently to journalism. Via its natural, technical and integrative codes it should be able to enhance public knowledge, its output serving as a positive contribution to the representational dimension of the public sphere. Moreover, television journalism would also constructively stimulate the dimension of sociocultural interaction of the public sphere: television as a sociocultural experience would strengthen public culture and democratic participation. Within the political system, direct participatory democracy is possible to a limited extent only; the remainder is carried out by representation. This political representation has its counterpart in the media: we cannot all be present at all events and developments, but fortunately television can represent them for us.

Many argue that, for ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles