Resisting the News Engaged Audiences, Alternative Media, and Popular Critique of Journalism
Resisting the News brings together unique insights from activists and alternative-media users to offer a distinctive perspective on the problems of journalism today—and how to fix them.
Using critical-cultural theory and, in particular, the conceptual frameworks of ritual communication and interpretive communities, this book examines how audiences filter their interpretations of mainstream news through the prisms of their identities and experiences with alternative media and political protest. Jennifer Rauch gives voice to alternative-media audiences and illuminates the cultural resources, values, assumptions, critical skills, and discursive strategies through which they make sense of their news environments. Drawing on a 15-year research project, Rauch employs a variety of qualitative, quantitative, and quasi-ethnographic methods, including focus groups, media-use diaries, close-ended surveys, and open-ended questions, to paint a layered portrait of liberal and conservative critiques of journalism.
Shedding new light on popular theories about "how news works" and about "mass" audiences, this book will be useful to students, scholars, and teachers of political communication, journalism studies, media studies, and critical-cultural studies.
1. Popular Theories of Mainstream and Alternative News 2. The Probability of Resistance in Empirical News Audiences 3. Parsing Divergent Responses to Mainstream News 4. Lay Theories about the Mass Audience for News 5. Lay Theories of the Political Economy of News 6. Activist Interactions With Mainstream Journalism 7. Alternative Media Rituals and Subcultural Capital 8. News Omnivores, Hybrid Media, and Alternative Ideals 9. Partisan Interpretations of Media Problems and Solutions 10. Journalism in an Age of Alternatives
"News audiences tend to be talked at rather than talked with. But Jennifer Rauch has done the hard yards of seeking out and listening to those people who choose to consume alternative news media. The fascinating result blends empirical rigour with theoretical nuance, delivering insights of great value to scholars, journalists and citizens alike."
Tony Harcup, Emeritus Fellow in Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield, UK
"Jennifer Rauch has bestowed upon us a highly innovative and timely roadmap for understanding alternative media and their audiences. This deeply empirical and eminently readable book is perfect for students, researchers, activists, and anyone who dares to believe a better media system is possible."
Victor Pickard, Professor of Media Policy and Political Economy, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, USA