The Media and Public LifeA History
The Media and Public Life
A History
Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

In this lucid and intelligent guide, John Nerone traces the history of the media in public life.  His unconventional account decenters professional journalism from its central role in providing information to the people and reconceives it as part of a broader set of media practices that work together to represent the public. The result is a sensitive study of the relationship between media and society that sheds light on the past, present and future of news and public life.
The book demonstrates clearly that the media have always been deeply embedded in social, economic, and political institutions and structures. Large transformations and historical shifts are brought to life in the book through closer study of  key moments of change such as the rise of liberal political institutions, the market revolution, the industrial revolution, bureaucratization and professionalization, globalization, and the ongoing digital revolution. By integrating theoretical concepts with detailed and vivid historical examples, Nerone shows how print and news media became entangled with public institutions.
<i>The Media and Public Life</i> brings new light on the ways in which people have understood the meaning of a free and democratic media system. It is essential reading for all students and scholars of media, history and society.
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  • June 2015
  • 248 pages
  • 158 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745660202
  • Paperback $26.00
  • 9780745660219
  • Open eBook $20.99
  • 9780745695938
Table of Contents
•1 The printer's newspaper and the national public sphere
•2 The editor's newspaper and the partisan public sphere
•3 The commercial public sphere
•4 The industrial media and the culture industries
•5 Institutionalization, the professional media and the expert public sphere
•6 The late modern press, the digital media, and the network public
•Conclusion: Coming to judgment on public intelligence
About the Author
John Nerone is Professor Emeritus of Communication at the University of Illinois.
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Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015

"The Media and Public Life is a masterpiece of media history, a lively, sensible story of memorable moments involving the press, politics, and public. John Nerones definitive social and institutional account will guide everyone from beginners to experts studying communication media at the core of late modern life."
Kevin Barnhurst, University of Leeds

"What difference do the media make in public life? All the difference in the world, according to this valuable and highly readable book by one of the leading US communication historians. The Media and Public Life is vintage Nerone: Smart, insightful and creatively formulated, it provocatively turns the conventional understanding of journalism upside-down, reintegrates journalism into the neighboring contexts from which it gets routinely separated, and offers us a nuanced and highly satisfying engagement with why the news media matter and why we should ensure that they continue to so so."
Barbie Zelizer, University of Pennsylvania
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