Journal of Mass Media Ethics 24 (2 & 3):164 – 172 (2009)
|Abstract||The anti-commodification and social responsibility traditions of media criticism emphasize journalism's function as a public good. This commentary supplements that perspective by calling attention to the status of journalistic authority as a “positional” good. Such goods can be possessed only by a limited number of people in relation to others. For news producers, the reputation of journalistic authority cannot itself be a public good. When news is conveyed to mass audiences, some voices will be perceived to have that authority while most will not. To illustrate the social laws of competition for journalistic authority, a theme in media criticism from the liberal blogosphere is discussed. The point of this discussion is to highlight the social dynamic that informs perceptions of journalistic authority when that authority cannot always be inspected through rational-critical analysis.|
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