The Big Picture:

Why Democracies Need Journalistic Excellence (Routledge NY, 2007)

"Lively and provocative ... a sharp, accessible, often funny book ... suitable for scholars and graduate students alike."

- M. Feldstein, Journalism


"A lively and extended essay on the importance of the craft of journalism in maintaining American democracy… a readable and engaging text."

- S. Oates, Journalism Studies.


"Stylistic clarity and argumentative linearity add to the merit for a … work that offers, even to a less experienced public, the conceptual tools to critically engage with the linkage between media and democracy."

- M. Stocchetti, Media International Australia.

 

Advance Praise for THE BIG PICTURE:

“Scheuer brilliantly makes the case for journalism as well as anyone ever has… If you are looking for one book to put the matter in context and make the case for journalism, this beautifully written book is it.”

– Robert W. McChesney, author of Communication Revolution.

 

To order THE BIG PICTURE:
Toll Free 1-800-634-7064

 

CONTENTS:

Introduction

  • The Media Labyrinth
  • The ‘Weak Slat’
  • The News-and-Democracy Paradox
  • Mr. Luce’s Folly
  • Disclaimers, Evasions, and Cultural Criticism

 

1.   THE BED OF DEMOCRACY

  • Foundations of Journalism and Democracy
  • Democracy and Its Concomitants
  • Ideology and Indeterminacy
  • Economic Equality and Class
  • Perfectibility and Complexity
  • Democracy and Excellence
  • The Two Faces of Democracy and the Weak Slat

 

2.   NEWS AND DEMOCRACY

  • Power and Knowledge
  • Democracy and Media: Separated at Birth?
  • The Need to Know, and the World without News
  • The Watchdog’s Bark
  • The Necessity and Contingency of News
  • The Contingency of Excellence

 

3.   THE SHAPE OF JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE

  • The Nature of Excellence
  • Excellence, Perfection, and Culture
  • The Three Graces of Journalism
  • Bad News and the Value of Criticism
  • Excellence and Ethics
  • The Edges of Excellence
  • Perfectibility Revisited: The Prism of Excellence

 

4.   TRUTH IS TRICKY

  • The Value of Truth
  • Truth is Pragmatic
  • Truth and Accuracy
  • Facts and Beyond: The Burden of Selectivity
  • The Meaning of ‘Objectivity’
  • Choice and the Ghetto of Objectivity
  • Truth and Complexity

 

5.   NEWS AND KNOWLEDGE

  • Knowledge and Complexity
  • Defining the News
  • Narrative and Explanation
  • Foreground, Background, and Context Revisited
  • Critical Media Thinking
  • The Problem of Importance and the Cultural Context of News
  • Journalism and Education
  • Excellence and Complexity

 

6.   NEWS AND IDEOLOGY

  • News and Values
  • Facts, Inconvenient Facts, and Values
  • The Uses of Neutrality
  • Problems of Neutrality
  • Journalism and the Politics of Complexity
  • Excellence and Ideological Literacy

 

7.   INK AND IVY: THE CURIOUS CASE OF JOURNALISM EDUCATION

  • Excellence and Education
  • The Strange History of Journalism Education
  • A Cautious Case for Journalism Schools
  • News and Knowledge Revisited: Journalism and Scholarship
  • What Journalists Need to Know
  • The View from Here

 

8.   CLEAN NEWS: EXCELLENCE AND INDEPENDENCE

  • No Strings Attached: the Value of Independence
  • Markets and Media
  • Clean News and the Independent Sector
  • The Wayward Press
  • Democratic Spheres