The social function of the news

the fifth wave


In his brilliant little book, Human as Media, Andrey Miroshnichenko provides the following explanation of the news business:

The journalist’s profession is about picking up on the social demand for consolidated pictures of the world, clipping off the variety of superfluous opinion and turning a few select topics into something readable. […]

In this sense, journalists are not only authors, but also mediators between the social demand for order and the personal demand for suitable reference points.  This is what society pays journalists for, not with money alone, but also with status recognition:  the status of priests.  The journalist is the priest of social navigation and readability.

Personal reference points become necessary initially at the level of life and love, where they can multiply virtually to infinity.  But we are also desperate for guideposts to cosmic aspirations – meaning, morality, status – that must be validated by some group. …

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Categories: Human as media book, Media ecology

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