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Journalism and celebrity politics


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Lester, L (2009) Journalism and celebrity politics. In: Journalism and Meaning-making: Reading the Newspaper. Hampton Press, New Jersey, USA.

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When Australian celebrities sign on with a new agent, they are commonly asked two questions: which designer will dress them, and which cause will they represent. Explicit in the first question is the understanding that image for the modern celebrity is vital. It is also explicit in the second. What is less clear is how this exchange between celebrities, their audiences and their chosen cause – or, indeed, a cause, the public and its chosen celebrity – interacts with news journalism and, more specifically, impacts on journalistic representation of politics. This interaction is important to understand. News access and representation are limited resources for which various elite and non-elite political contenders vie. Protest movements seek to harness the power of celebrities to increase their visibility and the saliency of their messages in the news media, while celebrities, in representing non-elite political groups, can extend their credibility and representativeness beyond their established audiences. What has made this transaction increasingly possible is the transformation that has occurred in recent years to news content and journalistic practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Hampton Press
Date Deposited: 25 May 2009 01:21
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:00
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