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Palgrave Macmillan

The Democratic Value of News

Why Public Service Media Matter

ISBN 9780230271531
Publication Date December 2012
Formats Paperback Ebook (PDF) Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Just how important are public service media to democratic culture? Stephen Cushion puts forward the convincing argument that, for all the commercial choice and competition in contemporary news culture, public service media do not only remain distinctive from market-driven media, they contribute to raising the editorial standards of journalism more widely as well.

At a time when public service media are under increasing pressure to justify their licence fees, Cushion undertakes a comprehensive review of studies examining the 'quality' of journalism produced by public and market-driven media around the world. In doing so, some important and timely questions are raised: Do public service media supply editorially distinctive news to market-driven media? Should citizens continue to subsidize news when so much commercial competition and choice is available? Reviewing also the impact news has on people's knowledge, civic participation and levels of trust towards competing media systems, he finds that the democratic value of news is more likely to be enhanced when it is produced by public rather than market-driven media.

The Democratic Value of News provides a useful hybrid of theory and practice and helpfully introduces the concept and history of public service broadcasting. It aims to develop and encourage scholarship asking whether public service media are distinctive from market-driven systems, in addition to serving as an invaluable textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Media, Journalism and Communication studies.


STEPHEN CUSHION is a Lecturer in Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, UK.

STEPHEN CUSHION is a Lecturer in Journalism at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University, UK.

INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE: The Philosophy and Economics of Different Broadcast Models: How do Funding Models and Regulatory Frameworks Shape the Democratic Value of News?
CHAPTER TWO: Journalism Cultures and Public Service Ethics: Evaluating the Democratic Value of News
CHAPTER THREE: Reflecting a 'Window on the World'? Reporting Local, National and International News
CHAPTER FOUR: Making sense of elections: the journalistic conventions and practices of campaign reporting
CHAPTER FIVE: Between Patriotism and Independence: The Politics of Reporting Wars and Conflicts
CHAPTER SIX: Adapting to the 24/7 Environment of Journalism: The Evolution and Development of Rolling News Channels
CHAPTER SEVEN: Protecting the Democratic Value of News: Why Public Service Media Matter
BIBLOGRAPHY

Reviews

'This book makes a robust and erudite defence of public service news reminding the reader of the importance of the quality of its contribution to the news environment in democracies… The author examines an impressive amount of data over seven chapters and does a grand job in summarizing the findings, for which he should be commended….this is an essential read for anyone wanting to acquaint themselves with the evidence of the importance of public service news but without the time to plough through a large number of studies. It will undoubtedly become a key student text.' - European Journal of Communication
'Stephen Cushion's book, The Democratic Value of News makes a valuable contribution to a growing literature on the role of publicly funded factual media...This is a useful and valuable book, not least for the depth and width of its sources, and Cushion has performed an heroic act of scholarship in bringing together a vast array of useful and relevant literature, in organising it so clearly and in coming to such a balanced view of the modern news world where publicly funded news media are still shown to matter.' - Journal of British Politics
'This is a superb book by a rising star of journalism studies.' - James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
'Stephen Cushion's The Democratic Value of News: Why Public Service Media Matter is a work of singular importance. As the Internet and digital communication remakes our media and revamps journalism before our eyes, Cushion makes a powerful case for the continued significance and necessity of public service media. This will be required reading for scholars, students and concerned citizens.' - Robert W. McChesney, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
'Stephen Cushion deals in this book with a supremely important topic: whether, and if so how, to what extent and in what main subject areas the journalism of public funded media differs from that of commercially funded ones. His distinctive approach - assembling and interpreting an extensive range of content analyses of news supply in many different countries and situations - yields findings deserving of academic and policy attention. The topic is important first, because the status of many public service broadcasters is highly insecure these days and second, because the relationship of journalism to democracy is so essential yet problematic these days.' - Jay G. Blumler, Emeritus Professor of Public Communication, University of Leeds, UK
'This accessible and stimulating book combines breadth and depth of scholarship in a study which is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of public service media in a rapidly changing environment.' - Professor Tom O'Malley, Aberystwyth University, UK
'The book is the most systematic and ambitious attempt to date to assess whether the journalistic quality of public service news is higher than in commercial TV channels…The conclusion he reaches therefore deserves to be taken seriously by all who are debating or have influence over public service future - namely, that the public service news generally characterized by a higher journalistic quality than the news on commercial channels, and that the public service news related to higher extent than commercial TV news helps to inform citizens… Given the ambitious and systematic review of research on the book deserves to be read by all those who have opinions about, debating, or influence media policy in general and public service in particular. It's also well-written and should work excellently as literature on courses that in one way or the other deals with journalism, the quality of journalism, the result of media's commercialization and the significance of public service' - Jesper Strömback, Professor and Chair in Journalism, Mid Sweden University, http://jesperstromback.wordpress.com/ (translated into English)
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