ERIC Number: ED258244
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Long Waves and Journalism Ideology in America, 1835-1985.
Kaul, Arthur J.; McKerns, Joseph P.
Framed by the heuristic device of "long waves" of capitalist development, journalism ideology is historically anchored to competitive media economics. (Long waves are 50-year economic cycles comprised of alternating 25-year periods of economic expansion followed by contraction periods.) With each long wave, a new institutional ecology emerges. Competition-generated economic and ideological crises merge in contraction phases; crises are then resolved through reconstruction in expansion phases. Two major shifts in the economic infrastructure of journalism--partisan to commercial, competition to monopoly--provided the impetus for a corollary shift in ideology. Journalism responded to economic crises by harnessing morality to marketing mechanisms. Commercial strategies to restabilize economic crises were ratified in the ideological language of public morality. The American tendency to translate economic crises into moral terms, commercial strategies into professional ideologies, mystifies the linkage of culture to economics. Economic crisis sets the agenda for ideological reconstruction. In the mid-1980s, American journalism is moving through a transition state to a new economic and cultural ecology. If the historic pattern holds, a resolution to the crisis will not emerge for another decade or so. (Author/DF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A