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Cultures of contempt

The claim that the accusatory, contemptuous culture of the modern media is undermining politics is itself now being dismissed. Can the downward spiral of media abuse and political evasion be reversed? Do we need a new journalism?

By John Lloyd   August 2004

Since writing an essay on the media for Prospect less than two years ago (“Media manifesto,” October 2002), the ideas set out there have become the subject of a wider debate. As I wrote there, and repeated at greater length in a new book, What the Media are Doing to Our Politics (Constable), many of these ideas came from American writers such as James Fallows, Deborah Tannen and Neil Postman who have argued that the media are losing public trust by their own extremism. Though they differ in many of their views, a common trope is – in the words…

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