The Public Policy Pedagogy of Corporate and Alternative News Media
This paper argues for seeing in-depth news coverage of political, social, and economic issues as “public policy pedagogy.” To develop my argument, I draw on Nancy Fraser’s democratic theory, which attends to social differences and does not assume that unity is a starting point or an end goal of public dialogue. Alongside the formation of “subaltern counterpublics” (Fraser), alternative media outlets sometimes develop. There, members of alternative publics debate their interests and strategize about how to be heard in wider, mass-mediated public arenas. I address the normative implications of this non-unitary, multiple-publics model for news journalism, analyzing how current conventions in mainstream news journalism (e.g., “balance” defined as “airing two extremes”) can restrict public debate and impoverish the public policy pedagogy on offer. I illustrate my arguments with a case study of media coverage of the creation and implementation of a social justice curriculum in British Columbia, Canada.
KeywordsDemocracy Queer counterpublic News journalism Alternative media Social justice curriculum
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