One of Hegel’s most controversial and confounding claims is that “the real is rational and the rational is real.” In this book, one of the world’s leading scholars of Hegel, Jean-François Kervégan, offers a thorough analysis and explanation of that claim, along the way delivering a compelling account of modern social, political, and ethical life.
Kervégan begins with Hegel’s term “objective spirit,” the public manifestation of our deepest commitments, the binding norms that shape our existence as subjects and agents. He examines objective spirit in three realms: the notion of right, the theory of society, and the state. In conversation with Tocqueville and other theorists of democracy, whether in the Anglophone world or in Europe, Kervégan shows how Hegel—often associated with grand metaphysical ideas—actually had a specific conception of civil society and the state. In Hegel’s view, public institutions represent the fulfillment of deep subjective needs—and in that sense, demonstrate that the real is the rational, because what surrounds us is the product of our collective mindedness. This groundbreaking analysis will guide the study of Hegel and nineteenth-century political thought for years to come.
Assessing Public Journalism
Edited by Edmund B. Lambeth, Philip Meyer, & Esther Thorson University of Missouri Press, 1998 Library of Congress PN4756.A85 1998 | Dewey Decimal 174.9097
In response to increasingly negative attitudes toward journalism and its coverage of public affairs, many newspapers and television stations across the United States have experimented with novel approaches to reporting to better meet the public's demand for news. Known as "civic" or "public" journalism, this new movement seeks to improve the news media's ability to supply the information and insights needed by citizens of a democratic society. Critics of public journalism say it contradicts some principles of traditional reporting. As a result, the new movement has spurred great controversy among journalists. Assessing Public Journalism is the first book to evaluate this movement.
Public journalists use a variety of innovative methods to achieve their goals. To connect more closely with citizens, they may listen to their readers and viewers in neighborhood settings and public forums. To frame stories more accurately, they sometimes conduct focus groups and opinions polls. To maximize the reach of their work, print and electronic journalists have experimented with coordinated coverage of key elections and major public issues. Their goal is a form of journalism that improves the quality of citizen deliberation and participation in public life.
By collecting and focusing a wide range of original research and selected professional commentary, Assessing Public Journalism provides the necessary framework for examining the issues surrounding public journalism and for determining what must be done to enable it to meet its full potential. Scholars, journalists, and concerned citizens will benefit from this vital study.
What can Roger Rabbit tell us about the Second Gulf War? What can a woman married to the Berlin Wall tell us about posthumanism and inter-subjectivity? What can DJ Shadow tell us about the end of history? What can our local bus route tell us about the fortification of the West? What can Reality TV tell us about the crisis of contemporary community? And what can unauthorized pictures of Osama Bin Laden tell us about new methods of popular propaganda? These are only some of the thought-provoking questions raised in Avoiding the Subject, which highlights the feedback-loops between philosophy, technology, and politics in today's mediascape.
Poverty, it seems, is a constant in today's news, usually the result of famine, exclusion or conflict. In Blaming the Victim, Jairo Lugo-Ocando sets out to deconstruct and reconsider the variety of ways in which the global news media misrepresent and decontextualise the causes and consequences of poverty worldwide. The result is that the fundamental determinant of poverty - inequality - is removed from their accounts.
The books asks many biting questions. When - and how - does poverty become newsworthy? How does ideology come into play when determining the ways in which 'poverty' is constructed in newsrooms - and how do the resulting narratives frame the issue? And why do so many journalists and news editors tend to obscure the structural causes of poverty?
In analysing the processes of news production and presentation around the world, Lugo-Ocando reveals that the news-makers' agendas are often as problematic as the geopolitics they seek to represent. This groundbreaking study reframes the ways in which we can think and write about the enduring global injustice of poverty.
An inside look at how midcentury DC journalists silenced their own skepticism and shaped public perceptions of the Cold War.
Americans’ current trust in journalists is at a dismayingly low ebb, particularly on the subject of national and international politics. For some, it might be tempting to look back to the mid-twentieth century, when the nation’s press corps was a seemingly venerable and monolithic institution that conveyed the official line from Washington with nary a glint of anti-patriotic cynicism. As Kathryn McGarr’s City of Newsmen shows, however, the real story of what Cold War–era journalists did and how they did it wasn’t exactly the one you’d find in the morning papers.
City of Newsmen explores foreign policy journalism in Washington during and after World War II—a time supposedly defined by the press’s blind patriotism and groupthink. McGarr reveals, though, that DC reporters then were deeply cynical about government sources and their motives, but kept their doubts to themselves for professional, social, and ideological reasons. The alliance and rivalries among these reporters constituted a world of debts and loyalties: shared memories of harrowing wartime experiences, shared frustrations with government censorship and information programs, shared antagonisms, and shared mentors. McGarr ventures into the back hallways and private clubs of the 1940s and 1950s to show how white male reporters suppressed their skepticism to build one of the most powerful and enduring constructed realities in recent US history—the Washington Cold War consensus. Though by the 1960s, this set of reporters was seen as unduly complicit with the government—failing to openly critique the decisions and worldviews that led to disasters like the Vietnam War—McGarr shows how self-aware these reporters were as they negotiated for access, prominence, and, yes, the truth—even as they denied those things to their readers.
In Complacency and Collusion, Keith J. Butterick draws on extensive experience as a journalist and scholar to show why financial and business journalism is so often toothless. He offers compelling explanations for why big business needs the press—and vice versa—and presents piercing analyses of the inadequacies of reporting in such major outlets as the Economist and the Financial Times, showing how those failures are rooted in the close relationship between businesses and those covering them. He concludes with a reflection on what the growth and spread of a complacent, complicit corporate journalism will mean for the future of a truly free media.
Explores the various aspects of recent debates over the independence of the social sciences. The contributors are Kenneth E. Boulding, Harvey Brooks, Jonathan R. Cole, Stephen Cole, Lee J. Cronbach, Paul Doty, Yaron Ezrahi, Charles Frankel, H. Field Haviland, Hugh Hawkins, Harry G. Johnson, Robert Nisbet, Nicholas Rescher, Edward Shils, and Adam Yarmolinksy. The essays deal with such topics as the relation of "values" to "facts" in social science inquiry; the interplay of theoretical and practical considerations; the moral obligations of social science investigators in political contexts; and the ways and means of protecting and advancing the autonomy of the social sciences.
Anyone who was not in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of the city experienced the disaster as a media event, a flood of images pouring across television and computer screens. The twenty-four-hour news cycle created a surplus of representation that overwhelmed viewers and complicated understandings of the storm, the flood, and the aftermath. As time passed, documentary and fictional filmmakers took up the challenge of explaining what had happened in New Orleans, reaching beyond news reports to portray the lived experiences of survivors of Katrina. But while these narratives presented alternative understandings and more opportunities for empathy than TV news, Katrina remained a mediated experience.
In Flood of Images, Bernie Cook offers the most in-depth, wide-ranging, and carefully argued analysis of the mediation and meanings of Katrina. He engages in innovative, close, and comparative visual readings of news coverage on CNN, Fox News, and NBC; documentaries including Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke and If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Trouble the Water, and Dawn Logsdon and Lolis Elie’s Faubourg Treme; and the HBO drama Treme. Cook examines the production practices that shaped Katrina-as-media-event, exploring how those choices structured the possible memories and meanings of Katrina and how the media’s memory-making has been contested. In Flood of Images, Cook intervenes in the ongoing process of remembering and understanding Katrina.
Disgusted by publishers and editors who refused to cover important stories for fear of offending advertisers, the press baron E. W. Scripps rejected conventional wisdom and set out to prove that an ad-free newspaper could be profitable entirely on circulation. Duane C. S. Stoltzfus details the history of Scripps’s innovative 1911 experiment, which began in Chicago amid great secrecy. The tabloid-sized newspaper was called the Day Book, and at a penny a copy, it aimed for a working-class market, crusading for higher wages, more unions, safer factories, lower streetcar fares, and women’s right to vote. It also tackled the important stories ignored by most other dailies, like the labor conflicts that shook Chicago in 1912.
Though the Day Book’s financial losses steadily declined over the years, it never became profitable, and publication ended in 1917. Nevertheless, Stoltzfus explains that the Day Book served as an important ally of workers, a keen watchdog on advertisers, and it redefined news by providing an example of a paper that treated its readers first as citizens with rights rather than simply as consumers.
From the days of the penny press to the contemporary world of social media, journalistic accounts of teen girls in trouble have been a mainstay of the U.S. news media. Often the stories represent these girls as either victims or whores (and sometimes both), using journalistic storytelling devices and news-gathering practices that question girls' ability to perform femininity properly, especially as they act in public recreational space. These media accounts of supposed misbehavior can lead to moral panics that then further silence the voices of teenagers and young women.
In From the Dance Hall to Facebook, Shayla Thiel-Stern takes a close look at several historical snapshots, including working-class girls in dance halls of the early 1900s; girls' track and field teams in the 1920s to 1940s; Elvis Presley fans in the mid-1950s; punk rockers in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and girls using the Internet in the early twenty-first century. In each case, issues of gender, socioeconomic status, and race are explored within their historical context. The book argues that by marginalizing and stereotyping teen girls over the past century, mass media have perpetuated a pattern of gendered crisis that ultimately limits the cultural and political power of the young women it covers.
"Guardians of Power ought to be required reading in every media college. It is the most important book about journalism I can remember."
- John Pilger
"Regular critical analysis of the media, filling crucial gaps and correcting the distortions of ideological prisms, has never been more important. Media Lens has performed a major public service by carrying out this task with energy, insight, and care."
- Noam Chomsky
"Media Lens is doing an outstanding job of pressing the mainstream media to at least follow their own stated principles and meet their public service obligations. [This is] fun as well as enlightening."
- Edward S. Herman
Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations?
Can newspapers, including the 'liberal' Guardian and the Independent, tell the truth about catastrophic climate change -- about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism -- when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75% of their revenues?
Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in Iraq when its senior managers are appointed by the government? Has anything fundamentally changed since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote of the establishment: "They know they can trust us not to be really impartial"?
Why did the British and American mass media fail to challenge even the most obvious government lies on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003? Why did the media ignore the claims of UN weapons inspectors that Iraq had been 90-95% "fundamentally disarmed" as early as 1998?
This book answers these questions, and more.
Since July 2001, Media Lens has encouraged thousands of readers to email senior editors and journalists, challenging them to account for their distorted reporting on Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti, East Timor, climate change, Western crimes in Central America, and much more. The responses -- often surprising, sometimes outrageous -- reveal the arrogance, unaccountability and servility to power of even our most respected media.
Recent scientific advances have placed many traditional philosophical concepts under great stress. In this pathbreaking book, the eminent philosopher Robert Nozick rethinks and transforms the concepts of truth, objectivity, necessity, contingency, consciousness, and ethics. Using an original method, he presents bold new philosophical theories that take account of scientific advances in physics, evolutionary biology, economics, and cognitive neuroscience, and casts current cultural controversies (such as whether all truth is relative and whether ethics is objective) in a wholly new light. Throughout, the book is open to, and engages in, the bold exploration of new philosophical possibilities.
Philosophy will never look the same. Truth is embedded in space-time and is relative to it. However, truth is not socially relative among human beings (extraterrestrials are another matter). Objective facts are invariant under specified transformations; objective beliefs are arrived at by a process in which biasing factors do not play a significant role. Necessity's domain is contracted (there are no important metaphysical necessities; water is not necessarily H2O) while the important and useful notion of degrees of contingency is elaborated. Gradations of consciousness (based upon "common registering") yield increasing capacity to fit actions to the world. The originating function of ethics is cooperation to mutual benefit, and evolution has instilled within humans a "normative module": the capacities to learn, internalize, follow norms, and make evaluations. Ethics has normative force because of the connection between ethics and conscious self-awareness. Nozick brings together the book's novel theories to show the extent to which there are objective ethical truths.
A disturbingly cautionary tale, Is Anyone Responsible? anchors with powerful evidence suspicions about the way in which television has impoverished political discourse in the United States and at the same time molds American political consciousness. It is essential reading for media critics, psychologists, political analysts, and all the citizens who want to be sure that their political opinions are their own.
"Not only does it provide convincing evidence for particular effects of media fragmentation, but it also explores some of the specific mechanisms by which television works its damage. . . . Here is powerful additional evidence for those of us who like to flay television for its contributions to the trivialization of public discourse and the erosion of democratic accountability."—William A. Gamson, Contemporary Sociology
"Iyengar's book has substantial merit. . . . [His] experimental methods offer a precision of measurement that media effects research seldom attains. I believe, moreover, that Iyengar's notion of framing effects is one of the truly important theoretical concepts to appear in recent years."—Thomas E. Patterson, American Political Science Review
The complaint is all too common: I know something about that, and the news got it wrong. Why this should be, and what it says about the relationship between journalism and truth, is exactly the question that is at the core of Tom Goldstein’s very timely book.
Other disciplines, Goldstein tells us, have clear protocols for gathering evidence and searching for truth. Journalism, however, has some curious conventions that may actually work against such a goal. Looking at how journalism has changed over time--and with it, notions about accuracy and truth in reporting—Goldstein explores how these long-standing and ultimately untrustworthy conventions developed. He also examines why reliable standards of objectivity and accuracy are critical not just to a free press but to the democratic society it informs and serves. From a historical overview to a reconsideration of a misunderstood book about journalism (The Journalist and the Murderer) to a reflection on the coverage of the war in Iraq, his book offers a remarkably wide-ranging and thought-provoking account of how journalism and truth work—or fail to work—together, and why it matters.
The idea that journalism should be independent is foundational to its contemporary understandings and its role in democracy. But from what, exactly, should journalism be independent? This book traces the genealogy of the idea of journalistic autonomy, from the press freedom debates of the 17th century up to the digital, networked world of the 21st. Using an eclectic and thought-provoking theoretical framework that draws upon Friedrich Nietzsche, feminist philosophy, and theoretical biology, the authors analyze the deeper meanings and uses of the terms independence and autonomy in journalism.
This work tackles, in turn, questions of journalism’s independence from the state, politics, the market, sources, the workplace, the audience, technology, and algorithms. Using broad historical strokes as well as detailed historical case studies, the authors argue that autonomy can only be meaningful if it has a purpose. Unfortunately, for large parts of journalism’s history this purpose has been the maintenance of a societal status quo and the exclusion of large groups of the population from the democratic polity. “Independence,” far from being a shining ideal to which all journalists must aspire, has instead often been used to mask the very dependencies that lie at the heart of journalism. The authors posit, however, that by learning the lessons of history and embracing a purpose fit for the needs of the 21st century world, journalism might reclaim its autonomy and redeem its exclusionary uses of independence.
Kant on Causality, Freedom, and Objectivity was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Kant's account of causation is central to his views on objective truth and freedom. The Second Analogy of Experience, in the Critique of Pure Reason,where he provides his defense of the causal principle, has long been the focus of intense philosophical research. In the past twenty years, there have been two major periods of interest in Kantian themes, The first coincided with a general turn away from positivism by analytic philosophers, and resulted in a fruitful interchange between Kant scholars and those who applied Kantian ideas to contemporary philosophical problems. In recent years, a new surge of interest in Kant's work occurred along with the developing controversy over realism generated by the work of Dummett and Putnam. Scholars now appreciate the extent to which the Kantian causal principle is illuminated by the philosopher's argument that his transcendental idealism supports an empirical realism. And in turn, Kant's views on objectivity, causation, and freedom are especially relevant to the philosophical concerns raised by the new debate over realism.
The eight papers in this book are drawn from two conferences that honored Lewis White Beck, an influential Kant scholar. Together with the introductory essay by the editors, they show the continuing relevance of Kant's analysis for the present-day philosophy of causation.
In November 1984, Jeffrey Masson filed a libel suit against writer Janet Malcolm and the New Yorker, claiming that Malcolm had intentionally misquoted him in a profile she wrote for the magazine about his former career as a Freud scholar and administrator of the Freud archives. Over the next twelve years the case moved up and down the federal judicial ladder, at one point reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, as lawyers and judges wrestled with questions about the representation of "truth" in journalism and, by extension, the limits of First Amendment protections of free speech. Had a successful Freudian scholar actually called himself an "intellectual gigolo" and "the greatest analyst who ever lived"? Or had a respected writer for the New Yorker knowingly placed false, self-damning words in her subject's mouth? In Literary Journalism on Trial, Kathy Roberts Forde explores the implications of Masson v. New Yorker in the context of the history of American journalism. She shows how the case represents a watershed moment in a long debate between the advocates of traditional and literary journalism and explains how it reflects a significant intellectual project of the period: the postmodern critique of objectivity, with its insistence on the instability of language and rejection of unitary truth in human affairs. The case, Forde argues, helped widen the perceived divide between ideas of literary and traditional journalism and forced the resolution of these conflicting conceptions of truth in the constitutional arena of libel law. By embracing traditional journalism's emphasis on fact and objectivity and rejecting a broader understanding of truth, the Supreme Court turned away from the First Amendment theory articulated in previous rulings, opting to value less the free, uninhibited interchange of ideas necessary to democracy and more the "trustworthiness" of public expression. The Court's decision in this case thus had implications that reached beyond the legal realm to the values and norms expressed in the triangular relationship between American democracy, First Amendment principles, and the press.
This volume brings historians of science and social historians together to consider the role of "little tools"--such as tables, reports, questionnaires, dossiers, index cards--in establishing academic and bureaucratic claims to authority and objectivity.
From at least the eighteenth century onward, our science and society have been planned, surveyed, examined, and judged according to particular techniques of collecting and storing knowledge. Recently, the seemingly self-evident nature of these mundane epistemic and administrative tools, as well as the prose in which they are cast, has demanded historical examination.
The essays gathered here, arranged in chronological order by subject from the late seventeenth to the late twentieth century, involve close readings of primary texts and analyses of academic and bureaucratic practices as parts of material culture. The first few essays, on the early modern period, largely point to the existence of a "juridico-theological" framework for establishing authority. Later essays demonstrate the eclipse of the role of authority per se in the modern period and the emergence of the notion of "objectivity."
Most of the essays here concern the German cultural space as among the best exemplars of the academic and bureaucratic practices described above. The introduction to the volume, however, is framed at a general level; the closing essays also extend the analyses beyond Germany to broader considerations on authority and objectivity in historical practice.
The volume will interest scholars of European history and German studies as well as historians of science.
Peter Becker is Professor of Central European History, European University Institute. William Clark is Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University.
This report presents a quantitative assessment of how the presentation of news has changed over the past 30 years and how it varies across platforms. Over time, and as society moved from “old” to “new” media, news content has generally shifted from more-objective event- and context-based reporting to reporting that is more subjective, relies more heavily on argumentation and advocacy, and includes more emotional appeals.
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Tankard Book Award winner
Weatherford Award winner, nonfiction
The News Untold offers an important new perspective on media narratives about poverty in Appalachia. It focuses on how small-town reporters and editors in some of the region’s poorest communities decide what aspects of poverty are news, how their audiences interpret those decisions, and how those two related processes help shape broader understandings of economic need and local social responsibility. Focusing on patterns of both media creation and consumption, The News Untold shows how a lack of constructive news coverage of economic need can make it harder for the poor to voice their concerns.
Critical and inclusive news coverage of poverty at the local level, Michael Clay Carey writes, can help communities start to look past old stereotypes and attitudes and encourage solutions that incorporate broader sets of community voices. Such an effort will require journalists and community leaders to reexamine some of the professional traditions and social views that often shape what news looks like in small towns.
News Values is a concise, powerful statement of the fundamental issues, ethical and practical, confronting newspapers today. Jack Fuller not only makes those issues clear, but offers a provocative new perspective on questions journalists should be asking themselves now in order to prepare for tomorrow.
"Every talk show host should read this book. So should every newsroom cynic. . . . 'Pursuit of truth is not a license to be a jerk.' In all too many newsrooms, that statement would resound like a three-bell bulletin."—Martin F. Nolan, New York Times Book Review
"[News Values] ought to be required reading not just for those who work for newspapers, but for all those who read and care about them. . . . [This book] seems destined to become one of those slim but important volumes people read for a long time to come."—Richard J. Tofel, Wall Street Journal
"Fuller stays above the fray [of the many books on the media]: His is a deeply intellectual approach, one that provides serious context to the highly complicated issue of how the news 'works.'"—Duncan McDonald, Chicago Tribune Books
"News Values has the touch and feel of knowledgeable, authentic caring about the kind of journalism than can help make society more cohesive, even human." —"Monitor's Pick," Christian Science Monitor
NEWSPEAK in the 21st Century
David Cromwell and David Edwards Pluto Press, 2009 Library of Congress P96.O242G74 2009 | Dewey Decimal 302.2309051
Since 2001, Media Lens has encouraged thousands of readers to challenge the filtered and distorted version of the world provided by major newspapers and broadcasters. The media responses, collected in Newspeak, are an exposé of the arrogance and servility to power of our leading journalists and editors, starring Andrew Marr, Alan Rusbridger, Roger Alton, Jon Snow, Jeremy Bowen and even George Monbiot.
Picking up where the highly acclaimed and successful Guardians of Power (2006) left off, Newspeak is packed with forensic media analysis, revealing the lethal bias in "balanced" reporting. Even the "best" UK media -- the Guardian, the Independent, Channel 4 News and the BBC -- turn out to be cheerleaders for government, business and war.
Alongside an A-Z of BBC propaganda and chapters on Iraq and climate change, Newspeak focuses on the demonisation of Iran and Venezuela, the Israel-Palestine conflict, the myth of impartial reporting and the dark art of smearing dissidents.
Worries about scientific objectivity seem never-ending. Social critics and philosophers of science have argued that invocations of objectivity are often little more than attempts to boost the status of a claim, while calls for value neutrality may be used to suppress otherwise valid dissenting positions. Objectivity is used sometimes to advance democratic agendas, at other times to block them; sometimes for increasing the growth of knowledge, at others to resist it.
Sandra Harding is not ready to throw out objectivity quite yet. For all of its problems, she contends that objectivity is too powerful a concept simply to abandon. In Objectivity and Diversity, Harding calls for a science that is both more epistemically adequate and socially just, a science that would ask: How are the lives of the most economically and politically vulnerable groups affected by a particular piece of research? Do they have a say in whether and how the research is done? Should empirically reliable systems of indigenous knowledge count as "real science"? Ultimately, Harding argues for a shift from the ideal of a neutral, disinterested science to one that prizes fairness and responsibility.
Most observers agree that modern physical theory attempts to provide objective representations of reality. However, the claim that these representations are based on conventional choices is viewed by many as a denial of their objectivity. As a result, objectivity and conventionality in representation are often framed as polar opposites.
Offering a new appraisal of symmetry in modern physics, employing detailed case studies from relativity theory and quantum mechanics, Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention contends that the physical sciences, though dependent on convention, may produce objective representations of reality. Talal Debs and Michael Redhead show that both realists and constructivists have recognized important elements of an understanding of science that may not be contradictory.
The position—“perspectival invariantism”—introduced in this book highlights the shortcomings of existing approaches to symmetry in physics, and, for the constructivist, demonstrates that a dependence on conventions in representation reaches into the domain of the most technical sciences. For the realist, it stands as evidence against the claim that conventionality must undermine objectivity. We can be committed to the existence of a single real ontology while maintaining a cultural view of science.
“The ultimate story behind all the stories… In an age when the press is alternately villain or hero, Pressman serves as a kind of medicine man of journalism, telling us how we got from there to here.”—Graydon Carter, former editor of Vanity Fair
In the 1960s and 1970s, the American press embraced a new way of reporting and selling the news. The causes were many: the proliferation of television, pressure to rectify the news media’s dismal treatment of minorities and women, accusations of bias from left and right, and the migration of affluent subscribers to suburbs. As Matthew Pressman’s timely history reveals, during these tumultuous decades the core values that held the profession together broke apart, and the distinctive characteristics of contemporary American journalism emerged.
Simply reporting the facts was no longer enough. In a country facing assassinations, a failing war in Vietnam, and presidential impeachment, reporters recognized a pressing need to interpret and analyze events for their readers. Objectivity and impartiality, the cornerstones of journalistic principle, were not jettisoned, but they were reimagined. Journalists’ adoption of an adversarial relationship with government and big business, along with sympathy for the dispossessed, gave their reporting a distinctly liberal drift. Yet at the same time, “soft news”—lifestyle, arts, entertainment—moved to the forefront of editors’ concerns, as profits took precedence over politics.
Today, the American press stands once again at a precipice. Accusations of political bias are more rampant than ever, and there are increasing calls from activists, customers, advertisers, and reporters themselves to rethink the values that drive the industry. As On Press suggests, today’s controversies—the latest iteration of debates that began a half-century ago—will likely take the press in unforeseen directions and challenge its survival.
On any given day, policymakers are required to address a multitude of problems and make decisions about a variety of issues, from the economy and education to health care and defense. This has been true for years, but until now no studies have been conducted on how politicians manage the flood of information from a wide range of sources. How do they interpret and respond to such inundation? Which issues do they pay attention to and why? Bryan D. Jones and Frank R. Baumgartner answer these questions on decision-making processes and prioritization in The Politics of Attention.
Analyzing fifty years of data, Jones and Baumgartner's book is the first study of American politics based on a new information-processing perspective. The authors bring together the allocation of attention and the operation of governing institutions into a single model that traces public policies, public and media attention to them, and governmental decisions across multiple institutions.
The Politics of Attention offers a groundbreaking approach to American politics based on the responses of policymakers to the flow of information. It asks how the system solves, or fails to solve, problems rather than looking to how individual preferences are realized through political action.
We are living in what one author describes as “highly promotional times.” Governments and corporations, nonprofits and special interest groups, all have spin doctors trying to turn the news to their advantage. This increasingly incestuous connection between the practitioners of public relations and journalism has resulted in a troubling shift in power. Public Relations and the Press examines how this shift came to be and explores the questions it raises about the role of media in a democratic society and the future of journalism.
A democracy works when individuals have access to reliable information upon which to base decisions—information that in our day comes from the mass media. But what if journalists do not have the wherewithal to question their sources and evaluate the information they provide? This, Karla K. Gower explains, is precisely what happens when economic and competitive pressures shift power from the journalist to the source—and the source, not the journalist, controls the flow of information to the public. Gowers describes a situation in which people, “informed” by practitioners of public relations, do not have sufficient information to make valid decisions. At stake is the core credibility of the press itself, and therefore the essential claim of journalism to a privileged role in a democratic social order.
Allan Megill Duke University Press, 1994 Library of Congress BD220.R48 1994 | Dewey Decimal 121.4
Although "objectivity" is a term used widely in many areas of public discourse, from discussions concerning the media and politics to debates over political correctness and cultural literacy, the question "What is objectivity?" is often ignored, as if the answer were obvious. In this volume, Allan Megill has gathered essays from fourteen leading scholars in a variety of fields--history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, history of science, sociology of science, feminist studies, literary studies, and accounting--to gain critical understanding of the idea of objectivity as it functions in today's world. In diverse essays the authors provide fascinating studies of objectivity in such areas as anthropological research, corporate and governmental bureaucracies, legal discourse, photography, and the study and practice of the natural sciences. Taken together, Megill argues, this volume calls for developing a notion of "objectivities." The absolute sense of objectivity--that is, objectivity as a "God's eye view"--must be supplemented, and in part supplanted, by disciplinary, procedural, and dialectical senses of objectivity. This book will be of great interest to a broad range of scholars as it presents current thinking on a topic of fundamental concern across the disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
Contributors. Barry Barnes, Dagmar Barnouw, Lorraine Code, Lorraine Daston, Johannes Fabian, Kenneth J. Gergen, Mary E. Hawkesworth, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Evelyn Fox Keller, George Levine, Allan Megill, Peter Miller, Andy Pickering, Theodore M. Porter
Crispin Wright's Truth and Objectivity brought about a far-reaching reorientation of the metaphysical debates concerning realism and truth. The essays in this companion volume prefigure, elaborate, or defend the proposals put forward in that landmark work.
The collection includes the Gareth Evans memorial lecture in which the program of Truth and Objectivity was first announced, as well as all of Wright's published reactions to the extensive commentary his study provoked; it presents substantial new developments and applications of the pluralistic outlook on the realism debates proposed in Truth and Objectivity, and further pursues its distinctive minimalist conceptions of truth and of truth-aptitude. Among the papers are important discussions of coherence conceptions of truth, of Hilary Putnam's most recent views on truth, and of the classical debate between correspondence, coherence, pragmatism, and deflationary conceptions of the notion. Others are concerned with Kripke's famous argument against physicalist conceptions of sensation; the distinction between minimal truth-aptitude and cognitive command; a novel prospectus for a philosophy of vagueness; and a new proposal about the most resilient interpretation of relativism.
Few people, if any, still argue that science in all its aspects is a value-free endeavor. At the very least, values affect decisions about the choice of research problems to investigate and the uses to which the results of research are applied. But what about the actual doing of science?
As Science, Values, and Objectivity reveals, the connections and interactions between values and science are quite complex. The essays in this volume identify the crucial values that play a role in science, distinguish some of the criteria that can be used for value identification, and elaborate the conditions for warranting certain values as necessary or central to the very activity of scientific research.
Recently, social constructivists have taken the presence of values within the scientific model to question the basis of objectivity. However, the contributors to Science, Values, and Objectivity recognize that such acknowledgment of the role of values does not negate the fact that objects exist in the world. Objects have the power to constrain our actions and thoughts, though the norms for these thoughts lie in the public, social world.
Values may be decried or defended, praised or blamed, but in a world that strives for a modicum of reason, values, too, must be reasoned. Critical assessment of the values that play a role in scientific research is as much a part of doing good science as interpreting data.
Self-Consciousness and Objectivity undermines a foundational dogma of contemporary philosophy: that knowledge, in order to be objective, must be knowledge of something that is as it is, independent of being known to be so. Sebastian Rödl revives the thought—as ancient as philosophy but largely forgotten today—that knowledge, precisely on account of being objective, is self-knowledge: knowledge knowing itself. Thus he intervenes in a discussion that runs through the work of Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Adrian Moore, and others, who seek to comprehend the claim to objectivity we raise in making judgments. While these authors think that the quest for objectivity demands that we transcend the first person, Rödl argues that it is through the first-person thought contained in every judgment that our judgments possess the objectivity that defines knowledge.
Self-Consciousness and Objectivity can be read as an introduction to absolute idealism, for it dismantles a stubborn obstacle to absolute idealism’s reception: the notion that it is a species of idealism, which is understood to be the assertion that the world depends upon the mind. As Rödl brings out, absolute idealism is the resolute rejection of that idea.
The implications of this work are profound. It undercuts a number of contemporary presumptions, such as that judgment is a propositional attitude, that inference is a mental process, and that there is an empirical science of the capacity for objective knowledge. All of these presumptions flow from the erroneous notion that the objectivity of knowledge stands opposed to its first-person character.
Forty years in the making, this long-awaited reinterpretation of Hegel’s The Phenomenology of Spirit is a landmark contribution to philosophy by one of the world’s best-known and most influential philosophers.
In this much-anticipated work, Robert Brandom presents a completely new retelling of the romantic rationalist adventure of ideas that is Hegel’s classic The Phenomenology of Spirit. Connecting analytic, continental, and historical traditions, Brandom shows how dominant modes of thought in contemporary philosophy are challenged by Hegel.
A Spirit of Trust is about the massive historical shift in the life of humankind that constitutes the advent of modernity. In his Critiques, Kant talks about the distinction between what things are in themselves and how they appear to us; Hegel sees Kant’s distinction as making explicit what separates the ancient and modern worlds. In the ancient world, normative statuses—judgments of what ought to be—were taken to state objective facts. In the modern world, these judgments are taken to be determined by attitudes—subjective stances. Hegel supports a view combining both of those approaches, which Brandom calls “objective idealism”: there is an objective reality, but we cannot make sense of it without first making sense of how we think about it.
According to Hegel’s approach, we become agents only when taken as such by other agents. This means that normative statuses such as commitment, responsibility, and authority are instituted by social practices of reciprocal recognition. Brandom argues that when our self-conscious recognitive attitudes take the radical form of magnanimity and trust that Hegel describes, we can overcome a troubled modernity and enter a new age of spirit.
During the Middle Ages, philosophers and theologians argued over the extramental reality of universal forms or essences. In the early modern period, the relation between subjectivity and objectivity, the individual self and knowledge of the outside world, was a rich subject of debate. Today, there is considerable argument about the relation between spontaneity and determinism within the evolutionary process, whether a principle of spontaneous self-organization as well as natural selection is at work in the aggregation of molecules into cells and the development of primitive forms of life into complex organisms. In Subjectivity, Objectivity and Intersubjectivity, Joseph A. Bracken proposes that what is ultimately at stake here is the age-old problem of the relationship between the One and the Many, universality and particularity on different levels of existence and activity within nature.
Bracken rejects traditional models of this relationship, wherein either the One or the Many is presupposed to have priority over the other. He instead suggests that a new social ontology—one that is grounded in a theory of universal intersubjectivity—protects both the concrete particularity of individual entities in their specific relations to one another and their enduring corporate reality as a stable community or environment within Nature.
What emerges is a bold reimagining of the sometimes strained relationship between religion and science. Bracken's clear writing, sophisticated philosophical analysis, and exemplary scholarship will lend this new work an enthusiastic appreciation by readers with deep interests in philosophy and philosophical theology.
Truth and Objectivity
Crispin Wright Harvard University Press, 1992 Library of Congress B835.W75 1992 | Dewey Decimal 121
Crispin Wright offers an original perspective on the place of “realism” in philosophical inquiry. He proposes a radically new framework for discussing the claims of the realists and the anti-realists. This framework rejects the classical “deflationary” conception of truth yet allows both disputants to respect the intuition that judgments, whose status they contest, are at least semantically fitted for truth and may often justifiably be regarded as true. In the course of his argument, Wright offers original critical discussions of many central concerns of philosophers interested in realism, including the “deflationary” conception of truth, internal realist truth, scientific realism and the theoreticity of observation, and the role of moral states of affairs in explanations of moral beliefs.
A look at the history of the idea of the objective journalist and how this very ideal can often be used to undercut itself.
In The View from Somewhere, Lewis Raven Wallace dives deep into the history of “objectivity” in journalism and how its been used to gatekeep and silence marginalized writers as far back as Ida B. Wells. At its core, this is a book about fierce journalists who have pursued truth and transparency and sometimes been punished for it—not just by tyrannical governments but by journalistic institutions themselves. He highlights the stories of journalists who question “objectivity” with sensitivity and passion: Desmond Cole of the Toronto Star; New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse; Pulitzer Prize-winner Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah; Peabody-winning podcaster John Biewen; Guardian correspondent Gary Younge; former Buzzfeed reporter Meredith Talusan; and many others. Wallace also shares his own experiences as a midwestern transgender journalist and activist who was fired from his job as a national reporter for public radio for speaking out against “objectivity” in coverage of Trump and white supremacy.
With insightful steps through history, Wallace stresses that journalists have never been mere passive observers. Using historical and contemporary examples—from lynching in the nineteenth century to transgender issues in the twenty-first—Wallace offers a definitive critique of “objectivity” as a catchall for accurate journalism. He calls for the dismissal of this damaging mythology in order to confront the realities of institutional power, racism, and other forms of oppression and exploitation in the news industry.
The View from Somewhere is a compelling rallying cry against journalist neutrality and for the validity of news told from distinctly subjective voices.
A sobering look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media, When the Press Fails argues the dependence of reporters on official sources disastrously thwarts coverage of dissenting voices from outside the Beltway.
The result is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action that questions why the mainstream press failed to challenge the Bush administration’s arguments for an invasion of Iraq or to illuminate administration policies underlying the Abu Ghraib controversy. Drawing on revealing interviews with Washington insiders and analysis of content from major news outlets, the authors illustrate the media’s unilateral surrender to White House spin whenever oppositional voices elsewhere in government fall silent. Contrasting these grave failures with the refreshingly critical reporting on Hurricane Katrina—a rare event that caught officials off guard, enabling journalists to enter a no-spin zone—When the Press Fails concludes by proposing new practices to reduce reporters’ dependence on power.
“The hand-in-glove relationship of the U.S. media with the White House is mercilessly exposed in this determined and disheartening study that repeatedly reveals how the press has toed the official line at those moments when its independence was most needed.”—George Pendle, Financial Times
“Bennett, Lawrence, and Livingston are indisputably right about the news media’s dereliction in covering the administration’s campaign to take the nation to war against Iraq.”—Don Wycliff, ChicagoTribune
“[This] analysis of the weaknesses of Washington journalism deserves close attention.”—Russell Baker, New YorkReview of Books
Public deliberation is essential to democracy, but the public can be fooled as well as enlightened. In three case studies of media coverage in the 1990s, Benjamin Page explores the role of the press in structuring political discussion.
Page shows how the New York Times presented a restricted set of opinions on whether to go to war with Iraq, shutting out discussion of compromises favored by many Americans. He then examines the media's negative reaction to the Bush administration's claim that riots in Los Angeles were caused by welfare programs. Finally, he shows how talk shows overcame the elite media's indifference to widespread concern about Zoe Baird's hiring of illegal aliens. Page's provocative conclusion identifies the conditions under which media outlets become political actors and actively shape and limit the ideas and information available to the public.
Arguing persuasively that a diversity of viewpoints is essential to true public deliberation, this book will interest students of American politics, communications, and media studies.
When Hillary Clinton announced her 2008 bid for president she was the Democratic front-runner. Despite this, she received less coverage than Barack Obama, who trailed her in the polls. Such a disparity is indicative of the gender bias the media has demonstrated in covering women candidates since the first woman ran for America’s highest office in 1872. Tracing the campaigns of eight women who ran for president through 2004--Victoria Woodhull, Belva Lockwood, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, Patricia Schroeder, Lenora Fulani, Elizabeth Dole, and Carol Moseley Braun--Erika Falk finds little progress in the fair treatment of women candidates. A thorough comparison of the women’s campaigns to those of their male opponents reveals a worrisome trend of sexism in press coverage--a trend that still persists today.
While women have been elected to the highest offices in countries such as England, Germany, and India, the idea that a woman could be president of the United States provokes scoffs and ridicule. The press portrays female candidates as unviable, unnatural, and incompetent, and often ignores or belittles women instead of reporting their ideas and intent. Since voters learn most details about presidential candidates through media outlets, Falk asserts that this prevailing bias calls into question the modern democratic assumption that men and women have comparable access to positions of power.
Newly updated to examine Hillary Clinton's formidable 2008 presidential campaign, Women for President analyzes the gender bias the media has demonstrated in covering women candidates since the first woman ran for America's highest office in 1872. Tracing the campaigns of nine women who ran for president through 2008--Victoria Woodhull, Belva Lockwood, Margaret Chase Smith, Shirley Chisholm, Patricia Schroeder, Lenora Fulani, Elizabeth Dole, Carol Moseley Braun, and Hillary Clinton--Erika Falk finds little progress in the fair treatment of women candidates. The press portrays female candidates as unviable, unnatural, and incompetent, and often ignores or belittles women instead of reporting their ideas and intent. This thorough comparison of men's and women's campaigns reveals a worrisome trend of sexism in press coverage--a trend that still persists today.