This is a significant and essential book for anyone interested in exploring the connections between news journalism, informed citizenship and democracy. Chapters include a historical appraisal of infotainment; the infrastructure for its globalization as well as coverage of recent wars on television news as high-tech infotainment ePub and the growing synergies between Hollywood and Bollywood-originated infotainment. Accessible, engagingly written and robustly argued, the book combines analyses of theoretical debates on infotainment with extensive and up-to-date comparative data. But, for those who have previously see this guide and you are prepared to make his or her findings well expect you to spend your time to go away an assessment on our site we can easily release both equally bad and the good critiques.
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By Daya Kishan Thussu. London, Sage: , pp. ISBN The U. Presidential election played out against the backdrop of two unpopular and deadly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a growing economic crisis spurred on by volatile oil prices and a meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage industries.
Despite these trenchant problems serious policy discussions would have to wait. American broadcast news coverage clung to the now standard tropes: horserace politics, melodramatic narratives of triumph in the face of personal adversity, and imagined political gaffes relating to lipstick on pigs.
It is a commonplace of media criticism to suggest that political coverage is superficial. Some would argue it has been ever thus. Notwithstanding these claims, there has been a growing cultural-studies literature in recent years arguing that popular media, from tabloids to daytime talk shows such as Oprah, create spaces in which marginalized social actors are given voice and where vernacular forms of representation are afforded equal play alongside so-called elite discourse.
His is an argument about diversion; as such, the book is part of a long line of both conservative and radical criticism that associates entertainment with distraction and passive spectatorship. The book is a logical outgrowth of the work Thussu has produced over the past 20 years in the fields of international relations, and global news broadcasting. Moreover, he asserts that infotainment has colonized and displaced public-service broadcasting and with it public consciousness.
Thussu pays particular attention to the contrasting models of for-profit television and public service broadcasting PSB , pioneered by the BBC. PSB, the dominant model throughout post-war Europe, was eventually undermined, he argues, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the global triumph of capitalism.
Neoliberal hegemony led to the privatization and commercialization of PSBs along the lines of the now dominant market-driven American model. This process was aided by active state involvement through deregulation and the technological convergence of television, telecommunication and computing. Echoing the warnings of the late media critic Neil Postman, Thussu argues that the pervasive commercial logic shared among broadcasters creates a need for entertaining programming above all else.
Soft news, lifestyle and consumer journalism abound. But Thussu does not stop here. A separate chapter on the Bollywood-based television news culture tracks the effect of deregulation and privatization in Indian broadcasting.
The book is less successful in how it handles the sticky and complex debates of ideological effect. The abundance of profitable sports news coverage of cricket is presented as evidence of the tabloidization thesis, without an extensive discussion of the cultural, political and social dimensions of the game and how these may or may not support his broader claim of neoliberal colonization. The international coverage of the controversial Celebrity Big Brother broadcast of January is another case in point.
The program received worldwide attention after Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty became the target of racist remarks by other members of the program. Thussu effectively situates the program within the global circulation of news commodities; moreover, he demonstrates how the program is linked synergistically with the interests of news broadcasters and celebrity-commodities, such as Shetty.
However, the issues of race and class raised by the brouhaha receive less attention. There is overwhelming evidence of the global proliferation of entertainment-oriented broadcast journalism. Throughout the book there is an assumption of a top-down, one-way communication flow from global infotainment conglomerates to the public. A more dialectical approach could provide a broader synthesis of the economic, political, social and cultural structures within which social agency necessarily resides; it also might show the politically ambiguous nature of popular culture.
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News as Entertainment : The Rise of Global Infotainment
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