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Power to the virtuous? Civic culture in the changing digital terrain

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kristy HessKristy Hess
Much scholarship laments a decline in civic participation and community social capital in a changing media world. But the concept of “civicness” remains important to functioning societies across the globe. This research borrows from the cultural turn in studies of media, communication and citizenship to examine civic as culture, anchored in the practices and symbolic milieu of everyday life. As its theoretical entry point, this research paper positions civic as virtue. Drawing on scholars from Aristotle to Pierre Bourdieu, civic virtue may be understood as a perceived moral obligation to serve the common good, especially the interests of a “community” in which individuals and/or groups are connected. In particular, the research extends Bourdieu's ideas to consider news media as a powerful institution alongside the state that may claim monopoly over the manipulation of civic virtue under certain social conditions. Civic virtue offers much in discussions about media power in the digital age and its relationship to the future viability and legitimacy of news media. The research draws on exemplars from a study into digitally mediated civic participation in a rural/regional Australian context to position certain local media as “keepers” and “conferrers” of civic virtue in the social settings they serve.

History

Journal

Journalism studies

Volume

17

Pagination

925-934

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

1461-670X

eISSN

1469-9699

Language

eng

Notes

Issue 7 - The Future of Journalism: Risks, threats and opportunities. Guest edited by Stuart Allan, Lina Dencik and Iñaki Garcia-Blanco

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Informa UK

Issue

7

Publisher

Routledge