Communication has become the technology of public interest, demanding a re-examination of the key concept of public in both public relations and communication theory. This book defines a new concept of public interest communication, combining the conflict, negotiation and adaptation inherent in public interest, with a critical approach to communication management and public relations.
Combining conceptual discussions about public theories of language with the tension between the public and private interests for public relations professionals, the book uses case studies to explore the negotiation of conflicting interests and the construction of the public interest within systems of governance at local, national and international levels. Public interest communication is identified within social and cultural contexts that resonate globally – health, community, media and the environment - each representing interest conflicts within the changing global environment.
Addressing the forces of fragmentation, inequality and individualisation that characterize the modern world, this thought-provoking volume will be of great interest to researchers and advanced students of communication, public relations, environmental communication, public communication, and public policy.
Table of Contents
Public Interest Communication: Critical Contexts and Global Perspectives, an introduction by Jane Johnston and Magda Pieczka; Part I: Critical debates; 1. Public interest communication: A framework for systematic inquiry, By Jane Johnston and Magda Pieczka; 2. Terministic dialectics of individual and community agency: Co-creating and co-enacting the public interest, By Bob Heath and Damian Waymer, 3. Communicating public engagement, public interest and participation: Culturally centering community voices, By Mohan J Dutta, 4. Climate change and the public interest: Science, legitimacy and diversity, By Mhairi Aitken, 5. Commercial media platforms and the challenges to public expression and scrutiny, By Nicholas Carah; Part II: Global contexts; 6. Articulating national identity in postcolonial democracies: Defining relations and interests through competing publics, By T. Kenn Gaither and Patricia A. Curtin; 7. In whose interests? Media, political communication and First Nations Australians, By Jane Johnston, Susan Forde & Boni Robertson; 8. Understanding the public interest puzzle in China’s public relations: The role of balance and counterbalance based on Confucian Great Harmony, By Jenny Hou, 9. Security, democratic legitimacy and the public interest: Policing and the communicative ritual in deeply divided societies, By Ian Somerville and Scott Davidson; 10. Lobbying for life: Violence against the press and the public interest, By Julieta Brambila and Jairo Lugo Ocando
Jane Johnston is Associate Professor of Communication and Public Relations at The University of Queensland, Australia. Her book Public Relations and the Public Interest, published in 2016 by Routledge, broke new ground and she continues to expand her research in this exciting field.
Magda Pieczka is Reader in Public Relations at Queen Margaret University, UK where she currently leads the Centre Public Engagement and Dialogue and is a key member of Communication, Culture and Media Studies research centre.