• Graham Spencer


What this study has set out to do is encourage further discussion about how politics and news interact in relation to military and civil conflicts, and humanitarian crises. The conventions of news culture, which determine what Bourdieu calls the journalistic field, indicate a preoccupation with values that tend to sensationalize political life and reduce it to a series of personalized conflicts. The emphasis on drama and emotive ‘win-lose’ scenarios has contributed to a trivialization of political life, and by focusing on the interests of the few rather than the many, has reduced the public to powerless spectators rather than active citizens. This suggests notable problems for believing that reporting operates in an objective and balanced way and is a starting point for thinking about how alternative discourses might permeate official discourse and help shape discussion about conflicts which have major social implications. Within the bounds of news production, it is apparent that political conflicts are played out, but that those conflicts are confined to the political field and rarely opened up to broader consideration from groups and representatives who are less concerned with protecting narrow political interests. Since news is the central arena where politics is now played out, it is clear that image management and performance are key determinants of political success and that entertainment has become the basis of generating public attention.


Political Life Peace Process News Production Western Government Central Arena 
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Copyright information

© Graham Spencer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Creative Arts, Film and MediaUniversity of PortsmouthUK

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