Rethinking news media and local government: journalism, politics and symbolic power

Hess, Kristy and Waller, Lisa 2016, Rethinking news media and local government: journalism, politics and symbolic power, Australian journalism review, vol. 38, Article number : 1, pp. 5-17.

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Title Rethinking news media and local government: journalism, politics and symbolic power
Author(s) Hess, KristyORCID iD for Hess, Kristy
Waller, LisaORCID iD for Waller, Lisa
Journal name Australian journalism review
Volume number 38
Season Article number : 1
Start page 5
End page 17
Total pages 13
Publisher Journalism Education & Research Association of Australia
Place of publication Bathurst, N.S.W.
Publication date 2016-12-10
ISSN 0810-2686
Summary This essay explores why the relationship between news media and local government has been of little interest in journalism studies, especially in the Australian context. We argue that the reasons are complex but can be traced to issues of symbolic recognition and legitimacy. An overview of local government and news media in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand grounds the discussion in journalism and democratic theory. We draw on Bourdieu’s tradition of field-based research and theories of media power to highlight the important role 19th-century newspapers played in the establishment of municipalities. We then argue that local government’s omission from the Australian Constitution relates to issues of legitimacy and recognition that are reflected in the wider field of power and perpetuated within journalism practice and scholarship. Finally, practitioner perspectives and contemporary research underline the need for critical engagement and inquiry that recognise the fundamental importance of news and politics closest to the people.
Language eng
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 190301 Journalism Studies
1903 Journalism And Professional Writing
2001 Communication And Media Studies
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Journalism Education & Research Association of Australia
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