Bayam.2007.MTVs Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election

Buckingham 2000 p 211 is right that the solution to

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Unformatted text preview: ution but the norm, the ground from which their engagement with the spheres of news and politics begins. As the domains of news and entertainment, celebrity and public authority, affective style and rational argument become further fused, the traditional model of journalistic authority has become less resonant with the expectations of young people. The Choose or Lose series can be understood as an experiment with the boundaries of journalistic identity, in all constructing five different models of authority. Gideon Yago resembles a younger version of the old standard * the white, male professional, now clad in the style and vernacular of ‘‘youth.’’ Sway represents a model of cultural differentiation and journalism as both the transmission of information and the circulation of public voices. Christina Aguilera is authorized by her bounded celebrity expertise, her credibility stemming from her lived experience, or at least her ability to embody a particular set of life experiences. In turn her reportorial mode blends the presentation of information with subjective engagement. Drew Barrymore rejects all claims to expertise, her credibility grounded in her supposed authentic persona, her ability to represent the audience. Finally, P Diddy is the activist hero, the celebrity icon who claims not journalistic, but cultural authority. Representing both the audience’s lifeworld and the highest realms of sociocultural power, he offers a journalism of advocacy and change. It is possible to see MTV’s experimentation with the boundaries of journalism as a programming strategy designed to cater to an entertainment-saturated audience, an attempt to sugar-coat political information. In and of itself, that would hardly make Choose or Lose noteworthy. Buckingham (2000, p. 211) is right that the solution to youth disengagement can never be ‘‘simply to add sugar to the pill.’’ The suggestion here, however, is that Choose or Lose can be understood better as a product of an emerging media environment defined by blurred borders and paradigmatic dissolution. In...
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