News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media by Ahmed Al-Rawi

The Blurb On The Back:

Offers fresh insights and empirical evidence on the producers, consumers, and content of News 2.0

News 2.0 has forever changed the news business.  This second generation of news is made, distributed, and consumed on the internet, particularly social media.  News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media examines the ways in which news production is sometimes biased and how social networking sites (SNS) have become highly personalised news platforms that reflect users’ preferences and world views.  Drawing from empirical evidence, this book provides a critical and analytical assessment of recent developments, major debates, and contemporary research on news, social media, and news organisations worldwide.

Author Ahmed Al-Ravi highlights how, despite the proliferation of news on social media, consumers are often confined within filter “bubbles”.  Emphasising non-Western media outlets, the text explores the content, audiences, and producers of News 2.0, and addresses direct impacts on democracy, politics, and institutions.  Topics include viral news on SNS, celebrity journalists and branding, “fake news” discourse, and the emergence of mobile news apps as ethnic mediascapes.  Integrating computational journalism methods and cross-national comparative research, this unique volume:

– Examines different aspects of news bias such as news content and production, emphasising news values theory.

– Assesses how international media organisations including CNN, BBC, and RT address non-Western news audiences.

– Discusses concepts such as audience fragmentation on social media, viral news, networked flak, click bait, and internet bots.

– Employs novel techniques in text mining such as topic modelling to provide a holistic overview of news selection.

News 2.0: Journalists, Audiences, And News On Social Media is an innovative and illuminating resource for undergraduate and graduate students of media, communication, and journalism studies as well as media and communication scholars, media practitioners, journalists, and general readers with interest in the subject.

You can order NEWS 2.0: JOURNALISTS, AUDIENCES, AND NEWS ON SOCIAL MEDIA by Ahmed Al-Rawi from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Journalism: Why It Matters by Michael Schudson

The Blurb On The Back:

Despite the criticisms that have been levelled at news organisations in recent years and the many difficulties they face, journalism matters.  It matters, argues Schudson, because it orients people daily in the complex and changing worlds in which they live.  It matters because it offers a fact-centred, documented approach to pertinent public issues.  It matters because it keeps watch on the powerful, especially those in government, and can press upon them unpleasant truths to which they must respond.  Corruption is stemmed, unwise initiatives stopped, public danger averted because of what journalists do.

This book challenges journalists to think hard about what they really do.  It challenges skeptical news audiences to be mindful not only of media bias but also of their own biases and how these can distort their perception.  And it holds out hope that journalism will be for years to come a path for ambitious, curious young people who love words or pictures or numbers and want to use them to improve the public conversation in familiar ways or in ways yet to be imagined.

You can order JOURNALISM: WHY IT MATTERS by Michael Schudson from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Future Of Diplomacy by Philip Seib

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Never before has diplomacy evolved at such a rapid pace.  It is being transformed into a global participatory process by new media tools and new empowered publics.  “Public diplomacy” has taken center-stage as diplomats strive to reach and influence audiences that are better informed and more assertive than any in the past.

In this crisp and insightful analysis, Philip Seib, one of the world’s top experts on media and foreign policy, explores the future of diplomacy in our hyper-connected world.  He shows how the focus of diplomatic practice has shifted away from the closed-door, top-level negotiations of the past.  Today’s diplomats are obliged to respond instantly to the latest crisis fuelled by a YouTube video or Facebook post.  This has given rise to a more open and reactive approach to global problem-solving with consequences that are difficult to predict.  Drawing on examples from the Iran nuclear negotiations to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Seib argues persuasively for this versatile and flexible public-facing diplomacy; one that makes strategic use of both new media and traditional diplomatic processes to manage the increasingly complex relations between states and new non-state political actors in the twenty-first century.  

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Gender, Politics And News: A Game Of Three Sides by Karen Ross

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From Margaret Thatcher and Benazir Bhutto to Hillary Clinton, women have made great strides in the political arena in recent decades.  Yet studies have shown that media coverage can have a dramatic effect on the public perception of women in politics.  Gender, Politics, News: A Game Of Three Sides explores the origins and evolution of the role of gender in the broader processes of political communication.  Focusing primarily on power, patriarchy, and culture, author Karen Ross reveals the incredibly complex relationships that exist between politics, gender, and media in the modern era.  She probes deeply into the myriad ways in which these issues play out both in the high-octane context of national elections and during the deadline-driven pressures of everyday political reportage.  Topics covered include feminist theories of politics and political communication, gendered journalism, the ways in which women political candidates are framed in news discourse during elections, gender considerations in the role of the political spouse, the differential treatment of women and men politicians by the media and the public in the face of scandal, and many more.  Ross offers a global perspective on issues of gender, politics, and news media with a range of case studies from the US, UK, New Zealand, South American, and more.  Timely and thought-provoking, Gender, Politics, News: A Game Of Three Sides is an important and unique addition to the growing scholarship on gendered political communication, which argues that despite some encouraging moments, politics and news are still primarily jobs for the boys. 

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