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.
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan