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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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- Spring '14
- The Land