"Every serious student of journalism should read this book... Denis McQuail has succeeded in producing a work of scholarship that shows what journalists do and what they should do."
- Stephen Coleman, University of Leeds
"For a half century we have spoken earnestly of journalism's responsibility to society instead of to business and government. Now this concept is given sophistication unmatched, by the best scholar of media theory of his generation."
- Clifford Christians, University of Illinois
"The grand old man of communication theory presents an overarching social theory of journalism that goes beyond the usual Anglo-American focus."
- Jo Bardoel, University of Amsterdam (ASCoR) and Nijmegen
"This book deals with the eternal question of how journalism is linked to society... I cannot think of a better staple food for students of journalism at all levels."
- Kaarle Nordenstreng, University of Tampere
This is a major new statement on the role of journalism in democracy from one of media and communication's leading thinkers. Denis McQuail leads the reader through a systematic exploration of how and why journalism and society have become so inextricably entwined and - as importantly - what this relationship should be like. It is a strong re-statement of the fundamental values that journalism aspires to. Written for students, this book:
Makes the theory accessible and relevant
Teaches the importance of journalism to power and politics
Explores the status and future of journalism as a profession
Outlines the impact and consequences of the digital
Reveals journalism as it is, but also as it should be
Takes each chapter further with guided reading list and free online journal articles.
This textbook is the perfect answer to the how and why of journalism. It is crucial reading for any student of media studies, communication studies and journalism.
Denis McQuail is emeritus professor of communication at the University of Amsterdam and visiting professor in the Department of Politics, University of Southampton. His books include Audience Analysis (1997) and McQuail's Mass Communication Theory (5th ed. 2005), a comprehensive introduction to the field that takes full account of new technologies and globalization issues. His most recent edited collection is Communication Theory and Research (2006), which presents outstanding studies in communications research published during the last decade. The selections are drawn from the European Journal of Communication, a leading international journal, founded by McQuail, Peter Golding and Els De Bens.
Preface WHAT IS JOURNALISM? HOW IS IT LINKED TO SOCIETY? Introduction Origins of Journalism The Journalism-Society Link: Levels of Analysis and Theoretical Perspectives The Main Concerns of Social Theory of Journalism Diversity and Diversification of Journalism Journalism and Changing Technology: Implications for Society Defining Journalism and the News Today The Press as an Institution The 'Power of the Press' What Society Expects from Journalism The Self-Image of the Social Role of the Press Conclusions: Questions to Be Addressed JOURNALISTIC RESPONSIBILITY TO SOCIETY Introduction Defining Journalistic Responsibility Publication and the Public Interest The Foundations of Journalistic Obligation Free Press Theory Journalism as Meeting Essential Needs of Society The Press as Fourth Estate The Idea of a 'Public Sphere' Social Responsibility Theory Critical Theory Minority Media Theory; Democratic-Participant Theory New Movements in Journalism Internet News Theory Looking for a Structure in Social Theory of the Press Conclusion PRINCIPLES OF JOURNALISTIC PERFORMANCE Introduction Basic Publication Values in the Public Interest Truth as a Principle Freedom as a Principle Equality, Diversity and Solidarity as Principles Order and Cohesion as Principles for Journalism Conclusion TOWARDS A FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS FOR JOURNALISM Introduction Alternative Approaches On Journalism as a Profession: A Unifying Approach Does Journalism have its Own 'Ideology'? The Occupational Roles of Journalism Conflicts and Mixed Expectations Demand versus Supply of News Changing Goals and Types of Journalism If Not a Profession, at Least a 'Public Occupation' Conclusion THE CENTRAL ROLE OF MONITOR AND MESSENGER Introduction The Main Roles or Functions of the Press The Monitor and Messenger Role Characterized Objectivity as a Guiding Principle Limitations to Objectivity Degrees of Purpose and Activity in Objective News Journalism Tensions Internal to the Monitorial Role The Monitorial Role and State Power The Monitorial Role and Democracy Sources of Bias in the Monitorial Role 'Media Logic' and 'Mediatisation' Effects on Monitoring Conclusion MEDIA STRUCTURE, PERFORMANCE AND THE 'POWER OF THE PRESS' Introduction What Is a Media System? Influences from Social Structure on Media Systems Political Factors Economic Factors Social Cultural Influences Media System Influences on Journalism Influences at the Level of Organisation The Question of Press Effects on Society Informational Effects of News Persuasion Influences via News Effects on Behaviour in Society - Individual and Collective In Overview: Primary Determinants of the 'Power of the Press' Conclusion ACCOUNTABILITY OF JOURNALISM TO SOCIETY Introduction The Main Issues of Regulation and Accountability Journalistic Responsibility The Accountability of Journalism Lines of Accountability of Journalism Forms of Governance and Accountability Applied to Journalism Mechanisms of Accountability: External Mechanisms of Accountability: Internal Informal and 'Illegitimate' Mechanisms of Control/Accountability Three Frames of Accountability Relationship Accountability in Overview Conclusion CHANGING MEDIA TECHNOLOGY: CONSEQUENCES FOR JOURNALISM, PRESS INSTITUTION AND ITS RELATIONS WITH SOCIETY Introduction The Potential of the Internet and Other New Media Problematic Aspects of Media Change Initial Signs of Change The Internet: Liberating Promise Unfulfilled? Effects of Media Change on Journalism Itself The Future of the Press Institution The Journalism-Society Relationship The Question of Trust Consequences for the Public Sphere In Overview Conclusion IN CONCLUSION: STRIKING A NORMATIVE BALANCE Introduction A Frame of Reference for Journalism and Society Normative Contexts and Choices: Different Levels of Application Journalism in an Information Society The Main Normative Issues of Journalism and Society in Review Towards a Universal Normative Theory of Journalism? The Consequences of Ongoing Changes in Media Technology and Structure for Normative Relations between Journalism and Society What Can Be Done? Reflections on the Chances for Better Journalism Last Word Appendix: Selectde Documents Relating to Righrs and Obligations of News Media References Index