That fine line between Journalism and Pop Culture

Journalists are losing their audiences, well at least in the conventional sense. The public are growing and evolving and moving to getting their news from other sources, mainly online news sources. With the modern push for an environment friendly society it is easy to see why. However, the major companies who used to run the news (You know the big major companies) don’t seem to be able to get a grasp on the online domain. According to Dan Berkowitz, The audience now must define what journalism is and what isn’t in the virtual realm. Is a blog more like journalism then The Colbert Report or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

As journalists start reporting on the latest events, their experiences shapes their interpretation of what has happened, providing stories that depict with the way they see the world. Journalists are both media producers and media audiences. In the converse, creators of popular culture draw on their experiences with news and current events to cast the characters and write the plots for their shows. In terms of infusion, the flow goes both ways, so that neither journalism nor popular culture is as different as producers and audiences would have once believed. (Berkowitz, 2009)

An example of the infusion of both Journalism and Pop Culture is the show 24 and the themes it looks at. The show which is a counter terrorism drama debuted 2 months after 9/11 and follows Agent Jack Bauer as he does everything to save the world in 24 hours; everything including torturing captured terrorists for information.  During the 2008 election at a Republican debate, the candidates where presented with hypothetical scenarios where they had captured potential informants for suicide bombings around major cities. The results of 9/10 candidates endorsed torture as a viable way of getting information (Tenenboim-Weinblatt, 2009) The funny thing about this is, when it was reported in the Los Angeles Times the candidates were described as “a group of middle-aged white guys competing with one another to see who could do the best impersonation of Jack Bauer” (Brooks, 2007).

Reference List

Berkowitz, D, 2009,“Journalism in the broader cultural Mediascape,”Journalism, Vol. 10(3): 290–292

Tenenboim-Weinblatt, K. 2009, “Where Is Jack Bauer When You Need Him?” The Uses of Television Drama in Mediated Political Discourse’, Political Communication, vol. 26, pp. 367-87.

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