In this broad-ranging text, Peter Dahlgren clarifies the underlying theoretical concepts of civil society and the public sphere, and relates these to a critical analysis of the practice of television as journalism, as information and as entertainment. He demonstrates the limits and the possibilities of the television medium and the formats of popular journalism. These issues are linked to the potential of the audience to interpret or resist messages, and to construct its own meanings. What does a realistic understanding of the functioning and the capabilities of television imply for citizenship and democracy in a mediated age?
Peter Dahlgren is Principal Lecturer in the Department of Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Stockholm. He is the author or editor of numerous works in Swedish and of two books in English, both of which he edited with Colin Sparks: Communication and Citizenship (Sage, 1991) and Journalism and Popular Culture (Sage, 1992).