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The Maiden Tribute and the Naming of Monsters: two case studies of popular journalism as alternative public sphere
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8497-3381
2006 (English)In: Journalism Studies, ISSN 1461-670X, E-ISSN 1469-9699, Vol. 7, no 6, p. 851-868Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the critical potential of tabloid journalism. It does so through a comparison of two popular journalism campaigns: the “Maiden Tribute” campaign in the London newspaper the Pall Mall Gazette in 1885 (dealing with underage prostitution), and the “naming-and-shaming” campaign in the News of the World in 2000, concerning child abuse and paedophilia. The main research question is whether any or both of these campaigns can be viewed as contributions to an alternative public sphere, as defined using concepts from Örnebring and Jönsson (2004

16.           Örnebring  ,   Henrik       and     Jönsson  ,   Anna Maria     (  2004  )   “Tabloid Journalism and the Public Sphere: a historical perspective on tabloid journalism”  ,    Journalism Studies    5  (  3  ), pp.   283  –  95  .[Taylor & Francis Online]View all references) and Atton (2002

1.        Atton, Chris. 2002. Alternative Media, London: Sage. View all references). Three aspects of the campaigns are compared: (1) How they discursively frame the issue at hand, (2) How they discursively frame the key actors present in the texts, and (3) What mode of address is employed. The purpose of this comparison is to examine whether the campaigns open up alternative possibilities in how they frame and present the issue and the actors, and in how they address and give space to their audiences. The main result is that the Pall Mall Gazette campaign has the greater claim to being a contribution to an alternative public sphere in terms of how it frames the issue and the actors. The article further argues that while there is a distinct potential of tabloid journalism to contribute to an alternative public sphere in certain circumstances, this potential should not be overstated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 7, no 6, p. 851-868
Keywords [en]
alternative public sphere, News of the World, Pall Mall Gazette, tabloid journalism
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-27628DOI: 10.1080/14616700600980546OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-27628DiVA, id: diva2:626304
Available from: 2013-06-07 Created: 2013-06-07 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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