The globalization of the US-model of commercial television news has transformed broadcast journalism globally. Do ratings-conscious 24/7 news networks, privilege style and spectacle at the expense of substance and sobriety? Is fiercely competitive and increasingly globalized and fragmented news market diluting and debasing television news?
Richly detailed and empirically grounded, this first book-length study of infotainment and its globalization by a leading scholar of global communication, offers a comprehensive and critical analysis of this emerging phenomenon. Going beyond - both geographically and theoretically - the 'dumbing down' discourse, largely confined to the Anglo-American media, the book argues that infotainment may have an important ideological role, a diversion in which 'soft news' masks the hard realities of neo-liberal imperialism.
Chapters include a historical appraisal of infotainment; the infrastructure for its globalization as well as coverage of recent wars on television news as high-tech infotainment and the growing synergies between Hollywood and Bollywood-originated infotainment. A 'global infotainment sphere' is emerging, the book argues, within which competing versions of news – from 24/7 news networks to bloggers - coexist. Accessible, engagingly written and robustly argued, the book combines analyses of theoretical debates on infotainment with extensive and up-to-date comparative data.