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.

Mediation, Meaning and Power

Mediation, meaning and power

The pessimistic and optimistic narratives on the ethics of public life explored in the previous two chapters are informed by a view of mediation as image. In pessimistic narrative, the image fails to provide reliable evidence of suffering for spectators. In the optimistic narrative, it is the image that triggers off ...

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