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CLARKE Debra M.

Journalism and Political Exclusion. Social Conditions of News Production and Reception

Montreal, McGill Queen University Press, 2014, 376 p., $ 34 CA.

The constraints of news production and the consequent limitations of news result directly in dissatisfaction throughout news audiences. News stories are frequently found to be inadequately informative to the extent that journalism is more inclined to generate political disenchantment, rather than prompt its audiences to pursue a fully engaged level of political participation in their societies. Journalism and Political Exclusion provides a multi-method, integrated analysis of news production and news audiences, including a long-term study of community activists in a central Canadian city. During the seven-year fieldwork period, different groups of research participants completed questionnaires, wrote news diaries, and were interviewed in their homes while viewing network television newscasts. Clarke shows that frustrations with the informational limitations of television and other news media are accelerated among women and working-class news users who are often without opportunities to access alternative information sources. The critical contribution of journalism to the production and reproduction of ideas about social reality is frequently acknowledged and assumed yet rarely investigated and demonstrated. Through an examination of the everyday realities of both news production and news reception, Journalism and Political Exclusion also shows how the current "crises" of professional journalism heighten the level of political exclusion experienced by various social groups.

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