This book is about the relationship between the spectators in countries of the west, and the distant sufferer on the television screen; the sufferer in Somalia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, but also from New York and Washington DC. How do we relate to television images of the distant sufferer? The question touches on the ethical role of the media in public life today. They address the issue of whether the media can cultivate a disposition of care for and engagement with the far away other; whether television can create a global public with a sense of social responsibililty towards the distant sufferer.

The Paradoxes of Mediation

The paradoxes of mediation

The discussion on the subject of the two models of public life in the previous chapter shows that cosmopolitanism is a blindspot in current theories on the media and public life. Cosmopolitanism is either impossible (in the dialogic model) or possible (in the dissemination model). Together, these either/or ...

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