Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 59%)
Est. Return Date: 07/21/2015
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 32%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 88%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $2.98   
  • New (5) from $20.34   
  • Used (8) from $2.98   


Journalism does not create democracy and democracy does not invent journalism, but what is the relationship between them? This question is at the heart of this book by world renowned sociologist and media scholar Michael Schudson. Focusing on the U.S. media but seeing them in a comparative context, Schudson brings his understanding of news as at once a story-telling and fact-centered practice to bear on a variety of controversies about what public knowledge today is and what it should be. Should experts have a role in governing democracies? Is news melodramatic or is it ironic - or is it both at different times? In the title essay, Schudson even suggests that journalism serves the interests of free expression and democracy best when it least lives up to the demands of media critics for deep thought and analysis; passion for the sensational event may be news at its democratically most powerful. Lively, provocative, unconventional, and deeply informed by a rich understanding of journalism's history, this work collects the best of Schudson's recent writings, including several pieces published here for the first time.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Michael Schudson, among the best of the academic writers on themedia, has seen in the raucousness and hype of newspapers a pearlbeyond price: the instinct to create trouble for the establishment,the panjandrums - them."
Financial Times

"Schudson brings to his analysis an equanimity often missingamong media critics. Uniquely among scholars of contemporary media,he is well steeped in American history and the history of ideas.Schudson's key argument in his eloquent new book is that it is theeveryday reporting by the press, often pedestrian, often of trivialoccurrences, that holds the powerful to account and limits theirpower to control what the public knows."
Australian Book Review

"There's been a publishing boom in recent years in volumespursuing the special relationship between media and democracy. Manyhit the mark, but few hit it so convincingly and enjoyably, and inso few pages, as Schudson's."
Australian Journal of Political Science

"Schudson is the best writer on journalism I know."
John Lloyd, The Herald's Books of the Year

"In this sharp and engaging little book ... Michael Schudson haslaunched a debate that can lead to a normative theory ofjournalism's purpose in the era of the internet."
Tim Luckhurst, Times Higher Education

"A considered, fresh argument that points out often-overlookedcontributions to democracy made by the unlovable press."
M/C Reviews

"Schudson does an excellent job of pointing out that the pressneeds to be free to adequately provide the people with informationthat they need to form judgments about the government."
Books On-Line

"Makes a strong case for an independent press in a democracy,particularly the US."
Long Range Planning

"Among contemporary American scholars working on media andpolitics, Michael Schudson is easily the wisest. This wonderfulbook shows why. Its case for thinking differently about journalismand democracy is compelling. There are pearls galore: wise remarkson subjects like the abuse of power, the functional necessity oftruth, the decline of the newspaper, the rise of expertise, and thegrowing importance to democracy of efforts to monitor powerpublicly."
John Keane, Centre for the Study of Democracy, University ofWestminster

"There are many reasons the press is unlovable, andirresponsible. Readers will find these enumerated in MichaelSchudson’s important book. But readers will also find aneloquent argument about the vital role an independent press playsin a democracy, and why an 'annoying' journalist can advance thepublic interest just as surely as a President."
Ken Auletta, author and New Yorker media writer

"A sparkling set of essays on journalism and democracy by one ofthe world’s foremost media scholars. It alternates betweendefending the commonplace and attacking the holiest of sacred cows,making you want to rush to the next page of this brilliant, elegantand learned book."
James Curran, Goldsmiths, University of London

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745644530
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/10/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 184
  • Sales rank: 1,202,156
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Schudson is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, San Diego, and Professor of Communication at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi

1 Introduction: facts and democracy 1

2 Six or seven things news can do for democracy 11

3 The US model of journalism: exception or exemplar? 27

4 The invention of the American newspaper as popular art,1890–1930 40

5 Why democracies need an unlovable press 50

6 The concept of politics in contemporary US journalism 63

7 What’s unusual about covering politics as usual 77

8 The anarchy of events and the anxiety of story telling 88

9 Why conversation is not the soul of democracy 94

10 The trouble with experts – and why democracies needthem 108

Notes 126

Index 141

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)