In a world of increasing polarisation and demonisation, the media have a powerful role to play. They can reinforce or they can challenge that polarisation. The book proposes that we should think of the global media as a mediapolis, a single space of political and social communication, in which the basis for the relationships between neighbours and strangers can be either constructed or destroyed. The mediapolis is a moral space, a space of hospitality, responsibility, obligation and judgement. And questioning its present and future requires attention to issues of media justice, media literacy and media regulation.
Media and Morality is essential reading for all students and scholars of the media but will be of equal fascination to anyone interested in the workings of our modern world.
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Michael Bromley, Australian Journalism
"What a wonderful book! A thoughtful and convincing narrative,
theoretically enlightening, and explaining the necessary question:
how is the medialized cosmopolitan public sphere – the
mediapolis – possible? A new Habermas! A new cosmopolitan
critical theory of the emerging global civil society and its
Ulrich Beck, University of Munich
"This is a very intelligent and original book by one of the most
consistently interesting writers on the media. It is the most
penetrating discussion of the moral challenges posed by our
relationship to modern media systems, technologies and institutions
that I have read to date. Roger Silverstone tackles big and complex
issues here which go quite beyond what has come to be regarded as
the normal agenda of “media ethics”. In doing so he
generates some original and I believe powerful analytical concepts
which should begin to establish the new moral-critical agenda that
he rightly judges to be so lacking in contemporary media
John Tomlinson, Nottingham Trent University
"Roger Silverstone's delicate meditation offers a guide to the
perplexed for the citizen-audiences of the emerging global media
sphere. Confronting a full agenda of problems facing humanity such
as terrorism, theologico-military empires, and the proper distance
toward minorities in an integrating world, Silverstone finds
splinters of hope in the contradictory mess of mediated life today.
The fact that media somehow bring the world together in a space of
appearance, he argues in a style that is at once critical, nuanced,
and bold, is enough to encourage us to think of media and morality
in the same thought."
John Durham Peters, University of Iowa
Preface and Acknowledgements vi
1 Morality and Media 1
2 Mediapolis or the Space of Appearance 25
3 The Rhetoric of Evil 56
4 Contrapuntal Cultures 80
5 The Mediapolis and Everyday Life 106
6 Hospitality and Justice 136
7 Regulation and Literacy 162