Journalism for Democracy

Journalism for Democracy

By: Geraldine Muhlmann (author), Jean Birrell (translator)Paperback

1 - 2 weeks availability


Journalists are commonly denounced from all sides ashameful, deceitful trade, a profession sold out to the powerfulwhich gives a biased and misleading picture of the world. Behindthe condemnation one can often detect a desire for reform, afeeling that good journalism is too important for the health ofdemocracy to be left to languish among the tabloids. Yet thediscussion rarely gets beyond the well-worn formulas of free speechand the Fourth Estate. The question of the political significanceof journalism is never seriously addressed, and the question ofwhat journalism should be is rarely posed.

This important new book by Geraldine Muhlmann addressesthese gaps in our understanding and goes a long way to fillingthem. Putting aside the hasty diatribes against journalism,Muhlmann asks the fundamental questions: what should journalism be?What ideals should it serve? What do seeing and showing the worldmean today? What direction should journalism take in order toemerge from its current crisis?

Drawing on a rich tradition of philosophical thought, Muhlmannbreathes new life into the old debate about journalism and its roletoday. Avoiding the twin pitfalls of destructive criticism andnaive celebration, she sees a double task for a reinvigoratedjournalism: to allow space for conflict but also to foster unitywithin the political community. In the practice of journalism wesee the enigma of democracy itself: the coexistence of two stages,one of action and one of representations, the latter offering asymbolic resolution to the conflicts that animate the former.

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Chapter 1. Critiquing journalism: a difficultexercise.

1. The public: hostage to journalists.

2. Journalists: hostages to the public.

3. Two poles, two risks. What next?

Chapter 2. The notion of 'public', and what can be expectedof it.

1. The premises of the notion of 'public': liberal England inthe seventeenth century.

2. Kant and the principle of publicity (Offentlichkeit).

3. French Enlightenment and American Enlightenment.

4. The denunciation of the naiveties of the notion of 'public':the problem of the domination of the 'homogenous' in democracy.

Chapter 3. A first ideal-critique: thejournalist-flaneur.

1. Varying the gaze.

2. An ambiguous and frustrating ideal.

3. Fruitless exasperation: Karl Kraus as a modern Sisyphus.

Chapter 4. A second ideal-critique: thejournalist-at-war.

1. The journalism of the young Karl Marx (1842-43).

2. The crisis of 1843: towards a radical critique of publicspace.

3. Journalism, an ongoing problem: Marx asjournalist-at-war.

Chapter 5. A third ideal-critique: journalism as a'conflictual unifying' of the democratic community.

1. Gabriel Tarde and an answer to Gustave Le Bon.

2. The sociologists of Chicago (R. E. Park, H. M. Hughes) facedwith the reality of an 'integrating' journalist.

3. The risk of myth.

4. Towards a 'conflictual unifying'. Two journalistic acts.

Chapter 6. The limits inherent to the figure of the'spectator', and what they tell us about democracy.

1. The journalism of decentring as the search for the limits of'seeing'.

2. The Sartrean critique of the position of the spectator.

3. From the gaze to listening. Jean Hatzfeld on the Rwandangenocide.


Product Details

  • publication date: 15/10/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780745644738
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780745644738
  • weight: 412
  • ISBN10: 0745644732

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