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Media and the Restyling of Politics. Consumerism, Celebrity and Cynicism

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... En mettant l'accent sur la « personne-personnage », les explications deviennent plus concrètes. Pour celle-ci ainsi que pour plusieurs autres auteurs (Corner et Pels 2003, Marshall 1997, van Zoonen 2006, la politique emprunte alors aux codes de la culture populaire et fait naître la celebrity politics. Pour Lumby (1999) ainsi que Langer (2010), celebrity politics et personnalisation amènent une politisation de la vie privée. ...
... Ainsi, pour appréhender la personnalisation, nous avons pris en considération deux éléments clés, soit : les qualités et les scènes de performances dont il était question lors de la médiatisation de la politique. À ce propos, Corner (2000), Corner et Pels (2003), et Street (2004 affirment que les acteurs politiques, qu'ils soient masculins ou féminins, doivent plus que jamais être en mesure de faire croire à leur persona (terme latin pour désigner la face publique des acteurs) et, explique van Zoonen (2005), à démontrer qu'il est le résultat de la somme de leurs qualités politiques et personnelles. Cette chercheure, suivant Corner (2003), estime que les politiciens doivent performer sur trois grandes scènes : la scène des institutions politiques et de ses procédures, celle du public et du populaire (liée aux médias et à l'information spectacle) et, finalement, celle de la vie privée. ...
... À ce propos, Corner (2000), Corner et Pels (2003), et Street (2004 affirment que les acteurs politiques, qu'ils soient masculins ou féminins, doivent plus que jamais être en mesure de faire croire à leur persona (terme latin pour désigner la face publique des acteurs) et, explique van Zoonen (2005), à démontrer qu'il est le résultat de la somme de leurs qualités politiques et personnelles. Cette chercheure, suivant Corner (2003), estime que les politiciens doivent performer sur trois grandes scènes : la scène des institutions politiques et de ses procédures, celle du public et du populaire (liée aux médias et à l'information spectacle) et, finalement, celle de la vie privée. Elle avance que l'évaluation de la performance des politiciens sera basée sur la cohérence de leur persona dans et à travers ces trois scènes (van Zoonen, 2005). ...
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This article discusses the articulations between gender, politics, and media. With the increasing importance taken by the personalization and personalities of political actors in the political process, this research aims to offer a better understanding of the ways in which female politicians are depicted by and in the media. By looking closely at discourses about some of these women politicians, we intend to better understand the gender norms and expectations that they deal with while doing their job as parliamentarians. Our focus on the representations produced through media discourse on Quebec and Canadian politicians is informed by leadership theories and concepts of representation and framing gender. The qualitative discourse analysis of over 300 articles about 11 women politicians in Quebec newspapers has highlighted six portraits: Women Above All, as well as Iron Ladies, Good Mothers, Women Fighters, Stars, and Exceptional Pioneers. These results are critically discussed in relation to other research about gender, media, and politics.
... Building on recent research on Instagram-based political communication and branding (e.g., Filimonov et al., 2016;Muñoz & Towner, 2017;, a detailed coding scheme taking into account dynamics of visual political communication-including image-making as well as image management-was developed following an inductive approach. The coding approach takes into account five dimensions of Instagram-based political communication: (1) the structure and composition of Instagram still and moving images (e.g., people featured in the image, uses of filters); (2) the structure and content of Instagram captions (e.g., uses of tagging mechanisms [@], hashtags, emojis); (3) the political and policy issues referred to in Instagram updates (e.g., relations with government ministries and agencies); (4) the stages of performance depicted based on typologies developed by Corner and Pels (2003) and Van Zoonen (2006), for example, media and public, political, private; and (5) the mise-en-scene of Instagram still and moving images (e.g., aesthetics, physical location, presence of symbols). ...
... Overall, the data suggest that his Instagram activities focused on his work in the political sphere. Much less attention was given to his personal life (Corner & Pels, 2003). Contrary to our expectations, his spouse Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau and his children were not often featured in pictures (respectively 16.6% and 2.1%). ...
... As mentioned previously, Trudeau's personal Instagram feed focuses on the political sphere while giving much less importance to the media and personal spheres (Corner & , 2003;Van Zoonen, 2006). His posts tend to be centered on his work in the Parliament setting, official international trips, in the Prime Minister's Office, as well as while attending events and meetings in the context of his official duties. ...
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This article explores dynamics of online image management and its impact on leadership in a context of digital permanent campaigning and celebrity politics in Canada. Recent studies have shown that images can play a critical role when members of the public are evaluating politicians. Specifically, voters are looking for specific qualities in political leaders, including honesty, intelligence, friendliness, sincerity, and trustworthiness, when making electoral decisions. Image management techniques can help create the impression that politicians possess these qualities. Heads of governments using social media to capture attention through impactful images or videos on an almost daily basis seems like a new norm. Specifically, this article takes interest in Justin Trudeau’s use of Instagram during the first year immediately following his election on October 19, 2015. Through a hybrid quantitative and qualitative approach, we examine how Trudeau and his party convey a specific image to voters in a context of permanent and increasingly personalized campaigning. We do so through an analysis of his Instagram feed focusing on different elements, including how he frames his governing style visually, how his personal life is used on his Instagram to support the Liberal Party of Canada’s values and ideas, and how celebrity culture codes are mobilized to discuss policy issues such as environment, youth, and technology. This analysis sheds light on the effects and implications of image management in Canada. More generally, it offers a much-needed look at image-based e-politicking and contributes to the academic literature on social media, permanent campaigning, as well as celebrity and politics in Canada.
... I will now explore how the mediatisation of politics contributes to the development of this narcissistic tendency. (Lasch 1991:60-1) Politics in Britain has increasingly become a mediatised spectacle where the image one represents is very important (Corner & Pels 2003;McNair 2007;Street 1997). ...
... The centrality of the news media to the modern political process is evidenced by the increasing amounts of time and finance spent on communication by governments since the 1980s, shown in a number of political communication studies Bennett 2005;Corner and Pels 2003;Fairclough 2000 andFranklin 2004). ...
Thesis
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The loss of previous political ideologies has contributed to a pervasive social anxiety and search for meaning that affects the whole of society and the political elite in particular. Uncertainty with regard to the future is expressed through a general pre-occupation with avoiding risks. This has resulted in a coping strategy - a paranoid style - for engaging meaningfully with the electorate, based on fear and paranoid anxieties in relation to the terrorism threat. Using an object relations approach and taking television representations of terrorism as a case study, this analysis foregrounds the emotional dynamics of British politics and television programmes in the period 1998-2007. It identifies communicative mechanisms which attempt to produce meaningful identifications based on the consciousness of danger and fear of others constructed as malevolent. Synthesising Fairbairn (1952), Hofstadter (1964) and Laïdi (1998), I argue that this style functions as a coping technique for the loss of political subjectivity and meaning, by refashioning subjectivity in a way that resonates with contemporary consciousness. The thesis identifies the prominent characteristics of the paranoid style in this historical period, by focusing on the affective dynamics of communication. The thesis is organized around how the substantive features of the paranoid style represent the terrorist threat: visual surveillance, emotional & rationalistic rhetoric, the projection of agency and representations of disaster. It presents analysis and argument that demonstrate why the paranoid style is a symptomatic expression of the crisis of political subjectivity. This will provide a deeper understanding of affective communication in popular texts and the utility of the object relations psychoanalytical approach for analyzing representations.
... Celebrities become increasingly involved in climate change advocacy as spokespersons and endorsers (Boykoff & Goodman, 2009). Scholars have begun to study the role of celebrities in championing climate change mitigation (Corner & Pels, 2003;Street, 2004). The previous debate on the role of celebrities in climate advocacy generated two competing positions. ...
... They perceive the celebrity source either positively or negatively. These contrasting views suggest both potential advantages and barriers in using celebrity endorsement for complex environmental issues that is in line with the contrasting view from existing studies (Corner & Pels, 2003;Street, 2004;Weiskel, 2005). ...
Article
This study investigates public receptivity to celebrity's climate change advocacy on YouTube through a semantic network analysis. The results of this study suggest that the YouTube video generated a number of viewers' responses. Celebrity endorsement not only leaded public voices on climate change issue, but also their opinions on the celebrity endorser. This study found that most of viewers were polarized in their judgment and attitude toward the celebrity advocate either positively or negatively. This study offers an exploratory examination of the perceived star power and the role of celebrities as spokespersons for social causes. This study contributes to the theoretical foundation of the role of celebrity advocacy using social media. In addition, this study offers methodological insights into how to detect public perceptions and attitudes toward celebrity endorsement of social causes by analyzing public comments.
... Parties became increasingly part of the state, withdrawing more and more from society (Katz and Mair 2009). They simultaneously became globalized and manned by a horde of political communication and marketing experts, no longer focussed on engaging with laypeople on the input side, but rather on demonstrating their "stellar qualities" and abilities to deliver on the output side (Alexander 2010;Corner and Pels 2003). In this context, politicians became actors, salesmen and technocrats, addressing citizens as spectators, customers and consumers (Jackson and Scullion 2006;Van Zoonen 2005). ...
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Many in the mainstream see the rise of populism and the victory of Donald J. Trump as a minor, transient, disturbance of the balance between stability and pluralism in liberal democracy, caused by a temporary economic setback promoting a cultural backlash in the shape of an emotionally driven nativism, traditionalism and anti-politics. For them, it will disappear again as soon as the economy recovers and progressive, reasonable and multicultural, post-materialist values take charge of democracy again. In contrast, I argue that populism constitutes a serious threat to, perhaps the end of, American democracy as we know it, with its dream of creating a viable coupling between outward-looking progressivists and inward-looking traditionalists. The situation calls for the young to intervene and reinvigorate democracy. They have been nudged by neoliberals to express themselves and seek success above all else, and they feel in their everyday life the kind of anxiety and fear of failures that this can create. Consequently, they have invented new, flatter, less organized and more personalized ways of engaging, identifying and pursuing common concerns online and offline. This carries the germ of a new connective democracy breaking with both neoliberalism and populism in order to reboot the American dream.
... Politikanët e shquar, gjithnjë e më shumë mund të zbulojnë aspekte të jetës së tyre personale në media, të cilat kohë më parë do të ishin mbajtur sekret. Jetët private janë bërë burim, të cilin politikanët e përdorin me qëllim të ndërtimit të identitetit të tyre (Corner, 2003). ...
Book
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Ky libër është një përmbledhje e artikujve të botuar nëpër Revista Shkencore dhe të prezantuar nëpër Konferenca Shkencore Ndërkombëtare e të botuar nëpër Proceedings të tyre. Të gjithë artikujt janë botuar në gjuhën angleze!
... Politikanët e shquar, gjithnjë e më shumë mund të zbulojnë aspekte të jetës së tyre personale në media, të cilat kohë më parë do të ishin mbajtur sekret. Jetët private janë bërë burim, të cilin politikanët e përdorin me qëllim të ndërtimit të identitetit të tyre (Corner, 2003). ...
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Abstrakti Në trinomin e aktorëve të komunikimit politik: institucione politike-media-audiencë, mediat sociale në dekadën e fundit kanë hyrë fuqishëm duke gjetur një përdorim të gjerë nga politikanët. Përveç mediave tradicionale, mediat sociale si facebook apo twitter, janë bërë mjet i fuqishëm në shërbim të politikanëve për promovimin e tyre, duke i afruar ata me elektoratin. Rrjeti social facebook është duke u përdorur gjerësisht nga politikanët e të gjitha niveleve në Kosovë. Nga qëllimet e shumta për të cilat po përdoret, facebook po përdoret edhe për ndryshimin e profilit publik të politikanëve. Si rast studimi është marrë përdorimi i facebook-ut nga kryeministri Hashim Thaçi 1 gjatë fushatës së fundit elektorale në Kosovë. Ai, sidomos përmes fotografive selfie, që i ka realizuar në çdo aktivitet elektoral ka arritur që të marrë vëmendjen e opinionit dhe të mediave, si dhe ka arritur të krijojë një trend dhe një model të ri të politikanit. Përmes këtij veprimi dhe përmes kësaj strategjie të marketingut politik, ai ka arritur që të ndryshojë profilin e tij politik, nga një politikan autoritar i cili nuk është shquar për afërsinë me elektoratin, duke u shndërruar në një politikan të tipit intim apo politikanit yll. Për të agrumentuar këtë shndërrim apo ndryshim të profilit politik, kam realizuar një hulumtim të opinionit, rezultatet e të cilit mbështesin hipotezën e këtij punimi shkencor. Të anketuarit në përqindje të lartë vërejnë dhe konstatojnë këtë ndryshim. Në vijim të këtij argumentimi gjithashtu kam realizuar edhe intervista me dy ekspertë të medias dhe njohës të aktivitetit dhe profilit politik të politikanit që është marrë si rast studimi. Fjalët kyçe: facebook, media sociale, media tradicionale, politikan intim, politikan yll. Hyrje Në këtë punim rreth përdorimit të rrjetit social Facebook me qëllim të ndryshimit të profilit publik të politikanit, për ta argumentuar hipotezën e tij, është ndjekur një rrugë me disa korsi. Së pari, si rast studimi merret (ish)kryeministri i Kosovës, z. Hashim Thaçi dhe përdorimi nga ana e tij e rrjetit social Facebook. Pastaj, analizohet dhe përcaktohet instrumenti kryesor i këtij përdorimi, që del të jetë fotografia e llojit selfie. Kjo lloj fotografie zë vendin qendror, si në 1 Tani është Zëvendëskryeministër dhe Ministër i Punëve të Jashtme i Republikës së Kosovës.
... This has important ramifications in the New Zealand context. The hyper-commercialisation of broadcasting under the ratings system has positioned the audience as a pure commodity to satisfy two overlapping objectives: first, to cut production costs, and second, to maximise audience revenue, especially from favoured demographics (Corner and Pels, 2003). The logical consequence of this for media content is fragmentation and hybridity as programme formats are continuously refined to increase the audiences' commodity value. ...
Article
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This article explores New Zealand current affairs programmes from a critical political economy perspective. Many critics believe the current affairs television genre is in terminal decline in most Western countries. They argue that current affairs programmes have changed to focus on entertainment and news values with combative, personality focused programmes, rather than political and serious subject matter. Previous research carried out in New Zealand demonstrated that the news media significantly changed after the election of the fourth Labour government in 1984, which instituted a neoliberalpolicy agenda. The result was a more commercially-oriented media environment which, many critics argue, reduced the quality of news and current affairs programmes. This reflects the fact that the public sphere has been seriously diminished and that television current affairs no longer functions as it should. In this article, I discuss both the historic and contemporary state of television current affairs programmes in NewZealand. Building on previous research into such programmes, content analysis is employed to ascertain the extent to which the current affairs television genre continues to be shaped by the commercial pressures on New Zealand broadcasting.
... Watch me while I do one of those self-photo things that all the kids are doing'. In this way, they facilitate new forms of parasocial identification, which allows audience to 'read' their political characters and 'taste' their style, enabling them to judge their claims of authenticity and competence in a more effective manner ( Corner and Pels 2003). ...
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The growing presence of selfies on the Web proves how personal photography is changing its role: from a tool for documenting everyday lives to an identity-building resource used to create life narratives, to be shared with a public that is constantly connected online. Our definition of a ‘selfie’ includes those personal snapshots that: (a) are created with the awareness of belonging to a specific genre of self-portraits; (b) combine textual and iconic dimensions; and (c) are distributed in one’s own social network. Our claim is that selfies offer the opportunity to experiment with diverse prospects of self-presentation, especially thanks to their framing power. Using Goffman’s theory, we claim that every selfie produces a framing effect that can relate more or less with the main frame in which the snapshot is taken. The aim of this paper is to explore how the framing effect of a selfie affects the politics of self-representation of individuals whose role expectations are quite obvious, such as political figures. Taking advantage of this framing effect, our findings show how politicians use selfies as a strategic self-promotion tool.
... esim. Corner & Pels 2004;Drake & Higgins 2006) tai uusliberalistiseen ajatteluun ja työhön performanssina (Couldry, tulossa)? Entä mistä kertoo vaikkapa se ajoittain kovin aggessiivinenkin into tuottaa omaa tulkintaa ja itseä Big Brotherin nettikeskusteluissa? ...
Article
Tässä katsauksessa keskustelemme Big Brother -ilmiön saamasta media- ja akateemisesta huomiosta sekä käsittelemme aiemmin tutkimatonta osa-aluetta: kuvaamme osallistujien tapaa kertoa Big Brother -kokemuksistaan kolmen aihepiirin – kokemuksellisuuden, julkisuuden ja tosi–aito-tematiikan – puitteissa.
... Some authors (Ferris, 2010) argue that especially the latter category has gained ground, due to, on the one hand, the proliferation of television channels and the arrival of the Internet and, on the other hand, news media's extensive attention to them. Furthermore, public fame is increasingly generated outside the entertainment sector , resulting in celebrity politicians, business men, academics, and journalists (Corner and Pels, 2003; Van Zoonen, 2005 ). News media are instrumental in developing and maintaining all types of celebrity. ...
Article
This contribution discusses the content and characteristics of celebrity news as a hybrid news genre by means of a quantitative content analysis of a random sample from 1 year of celebrity news as published in two elite and two popular Flemish newspapers, and two Flemish celebrity gossip magazines. To this end, a theoretical framework is developed that combines insights from celebrity studies regarding the characteristics of the celebrity as a mediated construct with insights from research on (the decline of) journalistic quality, as well as insights from genre studies on hybridity. Different from what the literature suggests, the results indicate a certain dominance in celebrity news of the public over the private and a distinct attention to public interest next to human interest news, although results differ according to type of medium. The results also show clear indications both of original but sensationalized reporting in magazines and of a high level of ‘churnalism’ in (elite) newspapers. In the conclusion, the article suggests a need to pay more attention to ‘regular’ rather than exceptional celebrity news and a reconsideration of what is ‘wrong’ with celebrity news as indicative of what is ‘wrong’ with journalism in general, and shows that celebrity news is a hybrid genre in three different ways.
... One way of seeking to put flesh on the bones of the assumption is to look at the content of the media. As has been well documented, coverage of politics in the media has changed markedly over the past half-century (Street 2001; Meyer and Hinchman 2002; Corner and Pels 2003). In the 1960s a newspaper like The Times of London would have carried six or seven pages of commentary on Parliament and the work of the Cabinet. ...
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p>This article offers statistical and discourse analysis of political leaders’ profile pages during the 2015 UK General Election ‘short campaign’ as a means to better understand the construction of political persona on Social Network Sites (SNS). It examines this as a group production and promotional activity that variously used patterns and routines of both traditional and digital media to display leaders as party branded selves. Performances strived for balance between authority and authenticity, using the political self as a spectacle to direct microelectorates to specific actions. This study demonstrates how self-storytelling is shaped by the coded conventions or “house rules” of SNS, which are viewed as inescapable institutions for maintaining public visibility. It examines how linguistic and visual elements, linked to different political ideologies, chimed with Twitter and Facebook users and looks to the impact on political campaigning.</p
Article
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It seems politics invades everything. We can rarely think of any activity, any building, any human-to-human interaction and not see some political dimension infiltrating and shaping it. And this very interpretation, in its language of invasion and infiltration, implies that politics’ ubiquity is not necessarily a wanted accomplice in our human world. Nonetheless, its presence is expected, its strategic intentions acknowledged and negotiated. What is interesting is that persona—at least as it has been explored and defined in Persona Studies so far—always has a political dimension. It has been identified as a strategic identity, a form of negotiation of the individual in their foray into a collective world of the social (Marshall and Barbour). Persona is a fabricated reconstruction of the individual that is used to play a role that both helps the individual navigate their presence and interactions with others and helps the collective to position the role of the individual in the social. Persona is imbued with politics at its core. In this issue of Persona Studies, we explore political persona, a characterisation roiled in redundancy if our definitions above are adopted. The essays gathered in this collection debate these definitional affinities, and augment and nuance many other dimensions that help delineate what constitutes political persona. In this introductory essay, we will use the collected work on political persona that is developed in this issue to better define political persona. But before we evaluate and identify the intersections of our contributors’ work, we want to begin our exploration with what makes political persona constitutively different today than in the past. Can we identify through some of the most prominent political personas—Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in the United States’ 2016 Presidential campaign, for example—and through a study of a major political event—Brexit in 2016 in the U.K.—whether something has shifted and changed in these cultures?
Article
Résumé Traditionnellement déduit de la reconnaissance sociale accordée aux médecins et de la nature scientifique de leur savoir, le pouvoir médical semble désormais contesté sur la base de divers facteurs, notamment les connaissances accrues des patients, mais peut-être spécialement la volonté des responsables politiques de rationaliser les pratiques dans le domaine de la santé, en particulier dans la perspective de réduction des coûts. Au-delà de la perception que des médecins ont eux-mêmes de leur pouvoir et de son évolution, nous examinons 28 lois qui, adoptées par l’Assemblée nationale du Québec entre 2001 et 2008, touchent à différents degrés la profession et la pratique médicales. Il ressort de cet exercice que le pouvoir médical est objet à la fois d’une érosion relative et d’une consolidation, selon qu’on porte attention au contrôle des conditions d’exercice de la pratique ou au statut hégémonique de la profession au sein du système de santé.
Article
Political campaigns require constant performance from politicians. This presents ample opportunity for the occurrence of political gaffes. While it is not surprising that political gaffes can have a major impact on political campaigns, the process by which a gaffe is transformed into a meaning-laden defining campaign event is underanalyzed. To address this, we analyze and reconstruct the media trajectory of three instances, two involving Senate candidates (George Allen and Todd Akin) and one a presidential candidate (Mitt Romney), in which gaffes were constructed into meaning-laden events. We find that constructing a political gaffe as a meaning-laden event is a deeply social process. Our research highlights the impact of sousveillance (surveillance from below) and the difficulty that political performers have maintaining consistent “authentic” performances. Recounting the trajectories of these three gaffes allows for a detailing of the diverse methods by which the hybrid media system was effectively mobilized by “carrier agents” (actors with narrative capacity and media know-how). Further, we find that these gaffes proved particularly salient because they were interpreted as embodying an authentic representation of the candidate while simultaneously violating emergent norms of inclusive democratic public discourse.
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p>On a wave of hope and rousing talk of building global bridges, President Barack Obama won office in 2008, partially on a pledge to end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In contrast to his predecessor, who launched America into long, costly and ineffectual wars, Obama was seen to be more of a dove than a hawk. However, at the end of his two-term tenure America has been in a state of foreign belligerence for all those eight years, making Obama the longest serving US war president in history. The political persona of Obama as a dove originated with his opposition to the 2003 intervention in Iraq while he was still a senator and was cemented early in his presidency with his 2009 speech in Cairo, which seemed to signal a profound and optimistic realignment of America’s intentions towards the Middle East and its peoples. This speech was a watershed in defining his political persona and was instrumental in his being the only US president to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize while still in office. However during his term the underlying political landscape of the Middle East changed significantly. The withdrawal from and now return to Iraq, the nuclear agreement with Iran, the increasingly chaotic legacy of the Arab Spring, the continued impasse of the Israel-Palestinian peace, the disintegration of Yemen and Libya and the rise of the Islamic State as the new threat in the political vacuum of northern Iraq and eastern Syria and a resurgent Russian role in the region - all of these have provided novel challenges to Washington and a President attempting to live up to the positivity of his early days in office. At the end of his presidency Obama is faced with a public burned by the disappointments of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns and the new entanglements in the Middle East. This paper seeks to offer insights into the juxtaposition of Obama’s political persona and the reality and explores what his political legacy might really be. </p
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With the advent of Internet and the Web 2.0 operations along with the social media tools, we have witnessed a fundamental shift in political communication standards. Locating selfie within a broader trend of postmodern political campaigning, this chapter asserts that this new form of communication – partly unmediated-presents opportunities for new forms of interaction between citizens and politicians, new forms of political image making and new ways to attract media attention. More specifically, we suggest that political selfie reconfigures and shifts traditional ways of political communication through four distinct but interrelated uses: (a) self-generated material, disengaged by traditional media, (b) sense of intimacy, (c) political branding tool and, (d) media attention device. Within this context, this research reconsiders media events in the digital media field and suggests that political selfies can be regarded as a new type of image events, which challenge the obsolete representations of the traditional political figure with an aura of proximity and intimacy. Based on a number of well-known and striking political selfies and drawing on theories on media events and celebrity politics, we argue that, compared to the past, this new activity can contribute to attract public attention and build renewed personal brands of the political actors.
Chapter
This chapter discusses the illusions and disillusions of political celebrity. It uses the example of Nick Clegg to arrive at some general observations about the discourse of political celebrity. The argument is that political celebrity as discourse is not an inherent quality possessed by some charismatic individuals, but rather is an effect of ways of speaking and performing politics, in contemporary mediated environments. The chapter investigates the celebritization of Nick Clegg, Cleggmania. not in terms of its effects on political elections, but in terms of how this relates to general contemporary developments in political culture. It talks about extensive literature on celebrity and politics and reviews various other contributions to an argument about politics and celebrity. In this analysis, trust is an issue because it is foregrounded in a type of political celebrity produced through mediated performances which cannot, of themselves, bring about the changes they promise to deliver.
Article
This paper introduces the Special Issue’s central theme of ‘hybridity and the news’, defining the scope and setting the scene for the multiple issues and debates covered by the individual contributions in this collection. Opposing both relativist positions that discard hybridity as an analytically useless concept, and preconceived notions that construe hybridity as intrinsically negative or positive, it is argued to move beyond binary thinking and to approach hybridity as a particularly rich site for the analysis of forms and processes of experimentation, innovation, deviation and transition in contemporary journalism. In order to profoundly understand these developments, which come in many forms, manifest themselves on different levels, and serve multiple purposes, a comprehensive, multi- and interdisciplinary perspective is needed. The Special Issue aims to contribute to this research agenda by looking closely into blending categories and interaction patterns in journalistic forms, genres, and practices, encompassing theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches from various disciplinary backgrounds including political and communication sciences, sociology, linguistics, cultural studies, and history. While taking different angles on the subject and being variously located on the macro and micro levels of analysis, the articles assembled here all engage in a careful assessment of ‘hybridity and the news’ through profound conceptualizations and empirical analyses, connecting with and shedding new light on long-standing debates about the nature and meaning of journalism.
Article
Particularly in the context of American television, hybridity has become the defining feature of contemporary broadcast journalism. Hybridity itself manifests on multiple levels – the textual, systemic, and discursive. Together, these three levels of hybridization challenge traditional conceptions of journalism while at the same time enabling the emergence of new forms of journalistic truth-telling. This essay explores three examples of ‘public affairs narratives’, long-form fictional dramas that sit, in different configurations, at the intersections of news and narrative. It concludes that in an age of complexifying distinctions between the factual and the fictive, hybrid public affairs narratives have the potential to play a valuable journalistic function, orienting audiences to critical, but often under-explored, socio-political realities.
Chapter
This book aims to make a much needed contribution to the field of political communication studies. 1 There are two aspects to this initiative. The first, and most important, is the application of techniques of discourse analysis to specific examples of mediated political communication (specifically TV and the Internet), ranging from interviews and election debates, to political speeches and web-based, online communication. Here there is a particular interest in contemporary developments and emerging forms of mediated political communication, such as changing practices of news interviewing, uses of the Internet to develop new campaign strategies (such as those used to promote Barack Obama in the 2008 US presidential election) and the party leader debates which were held for the first time in the UK general election of 2010.
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When it comes to branding, marketing, and election victories, the revamped British Labour Party, also known as ‘New’ Labour, undoubtedly stood, until very recently, as a success story which other political parties wished to emulate. However, it is also now a largely discredited organization, which was defeated at the polls in May 2010 and whose members have been leaving in their droves, a disaffection which the 6 per cent post-election surge is unlikely to significantly counter.1 It is the contention of this chapter that while the business-inspired reforms account to a large extent for the success of the New Labour brand by raising the organization’s responsiveness to a range of stakeholders, such as voters and supporters, who had not previously been prioritized, the modernizers’ attachment to a technical, managerial conception of people management contained, from the very start, the seeds of future decay. The lessons drawn from the rise and fall of New Labour therefore provide a unique insight into the potentially disastrous effects of some of the most popular tenets of change management in organizations in general, notably the deleterious impact of the Party’s growing disregard for the role of members and activists in achieving the organization’s main goals.
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This study on organizational change begins with the idea that globalization and the development of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) have favoured the structural convergence of organizations, resulting in the hegemonic dominance of business values and practices in virtually all types of organizations, notably political parties and public or semi-public organizations. So far, very few scholars have tried to make this convergence between business organization paradigms and those present in other types of organizations, notably political parties, semi-public bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), explicit, with the notable exception of Max Weber, who pointed out in his 1925 book Economy and Society the continuities of structure and practice deriving from the bureaucratic form present within all large-scale organizations (Weber, 1978), and Robert Michels, who highlighted in 1911, through his theory of the ‘Iron law of oligarchy’, the process of bureaucratization of political parties (Michels, 1915).
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This book’s focus on the role of traditional (mass) and new (online) media in the unfolding of events across the general election period will be developed in the present chapter through an exploration of forms of mediation beyond news, in non-journalistic genres across the mediascape. The relevance of this study follows from its approach to the positioning of ‘politics’ within the broader context of political culture, rather than the more specific one of political knowledge. To introduce a cultural framing in this context is to recognise that public interest in political affairs has a variable character, and that citizens access the ‘political’ in different forms and at different levels. Undoubtedly, they access politics as information and opinion, mediated ‘officially’ via news journalism and associated editorial comment, and less officially via online sources, in ways explored by other contributors to this volume. They also access it through comedy programmes, drama, newspaper cartoons, reality television, blogs, online forums, Twitter streams and satiric newspaper columns, many of which are designed to offer pleasure as much as, or more than, to enhance their understanding of the electoral stakes and perhaps mobilise them to electoral action.
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The article examines emerging practices of personalization in political talk shows on Romanian television. Our interest lies in the reconfiguration of the role of critical journalist, as performed by talk show hosts on private TV channels, in the context of increasing commercialization and instrumentalization of the Romanian media in postcommunism. This development consists of the strategic use of personalization, achieved through the talk show dispositive, for the enactment of positions of journalistic interpretation, adversarialness, and intervention on behalf of the citizens. The findings indicate shifts in the symmetry/asymmetry relationships between journalists, guests, politicians, and publics, as well as new ways of constructing and understanding public issues. Two main patterns of personalization have been identified: the journalist as a fully engaged voice, effectively substituting itself for the public opinion, and the journalist as an ordinary person, who has the capacity to see through and expose dominant public discourses.
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Firmstone and Corner comparatively analyse how the public are represented in television news about elections in France, Italy, Greece, Sweden and the UK. The chapter focuses on examining the instances of the indirect voice of the public, the way that the public are ‘spoken for’ in their absence either in the reporting of opinion polls or in the claimed hearing of the ‘voice of the public’ through the interpretation of election results. Patterns in journalists’ practices show that opinion polls were predominantly used in the creation of predictive and evaluative narratives and were used more often to say something about politicians and national politics than to report on public opinion. The second part of the chapter looks at how the election results were reported, and how journalists made politicians’ ‘hearing’ of ‘the messages’ sent by the public in the form of the election results a key feature of their story-telling, which further served to ventriloquize citizens’ voices.
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The role of social media, and Twitter in particular, in political participation has already caught academic attention, and has become the zeitgeist of the day, the tweeting practices of celebrity advocates of activist causes (celebvocates) remain largely under-researched and invisible. This chapter examines whether celebvocate tweeting can extend cultural citizenship and invest it with a more populist aesthetic, thus opening up new forms of political engagement. It aims to study the social impact and reciprocity among international celebrity twitterers, their activist causes and their followers. First, the chapter addresses the repercussions of the proliferation of social media on electoral politics, and political participation at large, and raise some critical reflections regarding the assumed impact of social media on civic engagement and participation. It also discusses celebrity activism and related practices, as well as empirical study and research findings.
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The present study employs a longitudinal approach in order to investigate the use of gender stereotypes in print political advertisements for male candidates for parliamentary seats in Greece. For the purpose of the research, a sample of 863 advertisements from 20 daily national and local Greek newspapers issued between 1993 and 2009 was content analysed. The results of the study indicate that the predominant gender stereotypes in political advertising throughout the period in question were those of the successful and the dynamic male politician. The study revealed, however, that a definite change in the predominant stereotypes took place over the course of the period, there being a gradual shift towards the presentation of gender egalitarian, male figures. While in commercial advertising gender stereotypes have been extensively examined, there is a dearth of research on their manifestation in political advertising. https://rdcu.be/3ZGV
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The article studies the place and degree of interactivity of interactive elements in socio-political talk shows on Russian television during the period of the presidency and premiership of Vladimir Putin (2000–2017), and comprises unique material that allows us to analyse the interactive elements of talk shows in identified stages over time. The criteria for defining the level of interactivity of the given elements are distinguished. The material analysed proves that only a few programmes on Russian television demonstrated a high level of interactivity and their audience could influence the results of the studio discussions, for only a very short period.
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Dieser Beitrag befasst sich mit a) der Notwendigkeit und b) den Kriterien von Marktkontrolle vor dem Hintergrund der c) Akteurskonstellation, die gegenwärtig eine solche Kontrollfunktion für sich reklamiert. Bei dieser Betrachtung stehen jedoch weniger einzelne Verbraucherorganisationen (VO) im Vordergrund, sondern vielmehr neue Kooperations- und Assoziationsformen, die durch digitale Kommunikationsmedien ermöglicht werden. Statt einem Abwägen zwischen einem Mehr an staatlicher Kontrolle und mehr Kontrolle durch zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen, wird die Annahme geprüft, dass neue Formen der Zusammenarbeit zwischen betroffenen Verbraucher(-bürgern) und VO Legitimationsdefizite abfedern, die Effizienz von Marktkontrolle steigern und zur (Weiter-)Entwicklung von Bewertungsnormen von Markthandeln beitragen. Letztere setzt jedoch einen breiten gesellschaftlichen Diskurs zur Interpretation des Verbrauchergemeinwohls voraus.
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During the 2016 presidential election, Donald J. Trump’s rhetoric created a perception of authenticity. In particular, his parataxis, political incorrectness, bumptious language, and frequent errors proved to voters that he was the authenticity candidate in 2016, particularly when compared with the public relations machine of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump employed the attention-getting rhetorical style he developed during his years as a fixture of New York tabloids, reality TV star, and occasional pro-wrestling promoter to gain media coverage and supporters during his campaign, effectively using his direct line to the people—Twitter—to circumvent traditional presidential politics. In the Conclusion, we argue that Trump’s discourse signifies the entelechial end of a rhetoric of political incorrectness that has been salient since the 1980s.
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Citation: Harsin, J. (2018). Post-truth and critical communication. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford University Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.757 While the periodizing concept “post-truth” (PT) initially appeared in the U.S. as a key word of popular politics in the form “post-truth politics” or “post-truth society,” it quickly appeared in many languages. It is now the object of increasing scholarly attention and public debate. Its popular and academic treatments sometimes differ on its meaning, but most associate it with communication forms such as fake/false news, rumors, hoaxes, political lying. They also identify causes such as polarization, and unethical politicians or unregulated social media; shoddy journalism; or simply the inevitable chaos ushered in by digital media technologies. Post-truth is sometimes posited as a social and political condition whereby citizens or audiences and politicians no longer respect truth (e.g. climate science deniers or “birthers”) but simply accept as true what they believe or feel. However, more rigorously, post-truth is actually a breakdown of social trust, which encompasses what was formerly the major institutional truth-teller or publicist—the news media. What is accepted as popular truth is really a weak form of knowledge, opinion based on trust in those who supposedly know. Critical communication approaches locate its historical legacy in the earliest forms of political persuasion and questions of ethics and epistemology, such as those raised by Plato in the Gorgias. While there are timeless similarities, post-truth is a 21st century phenomenon. It is not “after” truth but after a historical period where interlocking elite institutions were discoverers, producers and gatekeepers of truth, accepted by social trust (the church, science, governments, the school, etc.). Critical scholars have identified a more complex historical set of factors, to which popular proposed solutions have been mostly blind. Modern origins of post-truth lie in the anxious elite negotiation of mass representative liberal democracy with proposals for organizing and deploying mass communication technologies. These elites consisted of pioneers in the influence or persuasion industries, closely associated with government/political practice and funding, and university research. These influence industries were increasingly accepted not just by business but also (resource-rich) professional political actors. Their object was not policy education and argument to constituents but, increasingly strategically, emotion and attention management. Post-truth (PT) initially appeared in the U.S. as a key word of popular politics in the form “post-truth politics” or “post-truth society.” It is now the object of increasing scholarly attention and public debate. PT can usefully be understood in the context of its historical emergence, through its popular forms and responses, such as rumors, conspiracies, hoaxes, fake news, fact-checking, and filter bubbles, as well as through its multiple effects—not the least of which the discourse of panic about it.
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The 2016 presidential campaign between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump saw citizen typography emerge in highly visible and highly impactful ways, particularly as the candidates made seemingly little attempt to maintain full control over their visual brand identities. But what does the surprising significance of typography in this recent campaign reveal about marketing and citizen participation in politics, about political brand management in a networked media environment and about typography’s role as a key pillar of branded political communication? This essay offers two key concepts: the networking of political brands and an emerging logic of participatory aesthetics – both of which point to a decentralization of traditional ‘brand management’ in favour of affectively driven political engagement through visual communications disseminated over communication networks.
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The subgroup of core celebrity diplomats can be differentiated from the larger cluster of activists because of both the recognition and contestation they receive as accommodationists within the established diplomatic culture. The top-tier celebrity diplomats do not focus on only one geographically focused issue. Celebrity diplomacy enhances the brand of an institution, as witnessed by the use of an increased number of stars as ambassadors for the UN. India has seen the attractions of mobilizing the star power of Bollywood as part of its own brand. The elevation of standing is the hallmark of all the top-tier celebrity diplomats. The major question will be whether the small cluster of top-tier celebrity diplomats will expand allowing a fresh sense of energy combined with a repertoire of enhanced substantive content. Celebrities can act as creative hybrids, copying practices from other arenas while putting their own spin and media-savvy knowledge into the mix.
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Marketing in contemporary society is undergoing a shift in its foundational beliefs, including those concerning how the discipline treats customers. In this article, we present marketing educators with new ways of thinking about customers and challenge core marketing concepts by leveraging an elevated marketing perspective. We provide a roadmap to teaching marketing that frames customers as one among many active partners who define their own value-in-use, rather than as passive buyers who are cherished for their economic contribution. We identify four areas where traditional core marketing views are challenged. For each, we suggest alternative educational perspectives and classroom activities.
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This study investigates the public perception towards Facebook usage in the 2015 political campaigns in Nigeria. The utilization of online networking in political issues has kept on developing in late time, even though it was not at first recognized as a political apparatus, political aspirants and politicians at large have now understood its capability. Hence, it has turned into one of the fundamental platforms for political aspirants to propagate diverse campaign messages to their constituents who have an interest in their political career and aspirations.The study made use of descriptive survey design with a questionnaire as the instrument for data collection. Data were analyzed using the 2016 Microsoft Excel statistical package with frequency counts and simple percentages presented in tables and graphs. The hypotheses generated in this study were tested via inferential statistical chi-square analysis at 0.05 level of significance.Studies that investigate the public perception of the usage of Facebook in electioneering campaign in Northern Nigeria, notably Taraba State is in its embryonic stage. Therefore, this paper is an extension of such body of knowledge. The study demonstrated that Facebook was used in the 2015 senatorial electioneering campaigns in southern Taraba, and this influenced electorate to vote a particular candidate. However, it is the perception of the respondents that there were dysfunctions such as deliberate distortions in the information about opponents, abusive speech, distortion of the facts about personal performance, and misinformation as a strategy for influencing on the Facebook pages of the electorates and candidates. Reliability (e.g. message must be clear, focused, well conveyed, believable, credible, free from abusive speech and attacking of opponents) should be an essential concept in the posted political messages or promises of politicians so as to draw more fans to themselves. It should be noted that this study centres on southern Taraba alone, therefore, in order to get more generalizable results, it is pertinent for further research to include other parts of Nigeria. Additionally, a combination of content analysis and interview will be helpful in examining the nature of the abusive words/speeches used on Facebook in the 2015 southern Taraba senatorial electioneering campaign. Some of the limitations have to do with the nature of the questionnaires themselves and the kind of variables and measurement models required. The measurements are perceptions rather than quantitative interval or ratio scale measures taken on the variable. Therefore, future research should adopt quantitative interval or ratio scale measures on the variable in order to obtain scientific results. Campaign; Facebook; politics; senatorial elections; Taraba; Nigeria.
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This edited collection makes a unique contribution to analyses of the changing nature and challenges of mediated political communication, through a distinctive comparative discourse analytical approach. The book explores how politics is performed and discursively constructed in television news and current affairs in five countries (France, Greece, Italy, Sweden and the UK) and focuses on a moment in time in European politics characterized by challenging tensions; increased Euroscepticism, questioning of mainstream politics; accentuated gaps between the elite and the citizens, and polarizations between member states. Emphasising the performative and discursive dimensions of political communication, the chapters provide a detailed comparative analysis that is centred around three themes: how symbolic representations of politics are shaped by journalistic practices, genres and styles of news reporting; the language and performances of mainstream and populist political leaders; and the participation and representation of citizens’ voices.
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In the chapter Coleman and Firmstone’s multimodal discourse analysis captures both the visual characteristics and the spoken discourse of the performances of mainstream politicians in television news in five countries (France, Italy, Greece, Sweden and the UK). Examples are used to illustrate the performative frames and discursive strategies that mainstream politicians employ in order to establish themselves as serious and authoritative personae, while at the same time attempting to realize qualities of authenticity and public representativeness. In order to appear popular rather than populist, mainstream politicians are driven to produce hybrid performances that enable them to realise a delicate balance between authority and authenticity. The chapter suggests that political performances are played out within a spectrum, with an ideal type of perfectly self-controlled mainstream imagery at one end and populist appeals to be ‘one of the people’ and to understand ‘ordinary people’ at the other. The analysis also explores the discursive strategies of journalists in constructing mainstream politicians and questions journalists’ roles in the construction (and deconstruction) of politicians as mainstream in the genre of interactive news making.
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In this introductory chapter, Ekström and Firmstone introduce the overall aim of the book and the theoretical and methodological approach. The approach to political communication is distinctive in three ways. First, we take a contextual approach, analysing the political communication in relation to the tensions and disruptions shaping European politics at a particular moment in time. Second, the book focuses on the performative and discursive dimensions of political communication. An interdisciplinary discourse analytical approach is developed to analyse how the roles and relationships between citizens, politicians and journalists are performed and represented in the media. Finally, we develop a systematic qualitative comparative approach for the cross-national analysis of political discourse. The contribution of the book is discussed in relation to previous research on political communication and media coverage of European Elections. The countries included in the study (France, Greece, Italy, Sweden, UK) are introduced with respect to their historical relationship with the EU, the effects of the economic crisis, the development of Euroscepticism, and the electoral success of mainstream and populist parties.
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In this concluding chapter, Ekström and Firmstone reflect on the findings of individual chapters to consider the overall consequences for the five key questions explored by the study: 1) How are tensions and disruptions in European politics discursively constructed and negotiated in broadcast media across countries? 2) How is politics represented and communicated through different journalistic practices and media discourse; genres, styles and narratives of reporting, forms of interviewing, etc.? 3) How are citizens represented, talked about, talked to, and invited to participate with their own voices in the media? 4) What constitutes the mediated performances of mainstream and populist political leaders, and how do politicians meet the various challenges of political communication at the particular moment in time? 5) How are the relationships between journalists, politicians and citizens discursively constructed and negotiated in television news and current affairs across countries? The chapter concludes by presenting the benefits of the comparative approach to qualitative discourse analysis of political communication developed by the authors and suggesting directions for future research.
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(adapted from plenary address to the conference on Information, Medium, and Society, July 2020). This article provides a critical reflection on the role of publishing in post-truth society and politics. If publishers and scholars are to respond effectively to the challenges of the post-truth condition, they must begin by understanding its causes, its history, and its array of responses, including proposed solutions (and critiques thereof). Facing a post-truth condition, publishing must not just evolve in terms of business models, as so many have claimed since the onset of web 2.0., as they are all embedded in the communication infrastructures of attentional capitalism. Publishing must engage in social reflection and self-critique (publishing’s place in the system), regarding its relationship to education, democracy, social life, and truth. In other words, it must return to a ruthlessly self-critical reflection on the very meaning of “publish,” and “publishing.” For published article, please cite: Harsin, Jayson. “Post-Truth Reflections on Public Origins and Functions of Publishing.” Information, Medium, and Society: Journal of Publishing Studies 19, no. 1 (2021): 7–19. https://doi.org/10.18848/2691-1507/CGP/v19i01/7-19.
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PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which academic researchers frame and conduct sustainability research and to ask to what extent we are limited by these frames. Methodology/approachOur approach is based on an epistemological critique. We begin with a discussion of the ways in which sustainable consumption has been conceptualised within marketing; we question the influence of positivist social science research traditions and examine how research on sustainability is impacted by the structure of academia. FindingsOur critical reflection leads us to suggest three ways in which sustainability research might be re-framed: a reconsideration of language, a shift in the locus of responsibility and the adoption of a holistic approach. Research implicationsWe propose that in order to make progress in sustainability research, alternative frames, terms, units of analysis, method(ologies) and research ambitions are needed. Originality/valueBy making visible our collective, unexamined assumptions, we can now move forward with new questions and agendas for sustainability research.
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This article examines the intellectual history of the concept of ‘publicity’, originally defined by Immanuel Kant as the transcendental formula of public justice and the principle of the public use of reason, but later largely subsumed under the concept of ‘freedom of the press’. The notion of the press as the Fourth Estate/Power was a valid concept and legitimate form of the institutionalization of the principle of publicity in the period when newspapers emanated from a new (bourgeois) estate or class: they had a different source of legitimacy than the three classic powers, and developed as a critical impulse against the old ruling estates. Yet the discrimination in favor of the power/control function of the press, which relates to the need of ‘distrustful surveillance’ defended by Bentham, clearly abstracted freedom of the press from the Kantian quest for the public use of reason. In democratic societies where the people rather than different estates legitimize all the powers, the control dimension of publicity embodied in the corporate freedom of the press should be effectively supplemented by actions toward equalizing private citizens in the public use of reason.