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?
Chapter 4: Modern Contingencies
The impossible task is set by the foci imaginarii of absolute truth, pure art, humanity as such, order, certainty, harmony, the end of history. Like all horizons, they can never be reached. Like all horizons, they make possible walking with a purpose. Like all horizons, they recede in the course of, and because of, walking. Like all horizons, the quicker is the walking the faster they recede. Like all horizons, they never allow the purpose of walking to relent or be compromised. Like all horizons, they move continuously in time and thus lend the walking the supportive illusion of destination, pointer and purpose … The march must go on because any place of arrival is but a temporary station … The linear time ...