This book adopts a unique perspective on journalism by considering it as a practice of cartography. Through every aspect of their work, journalists describe and define their community and situate that community within the larger world. With words, images, and sounds, journalists: sketch out the boundaries of community; define its values; identify key components of its political, economic, and cultural infrastructure; describe its constituents; position community with respect to neighbouring communities; highlight other constituencies with which this community has important ties; and relegate to the margins great portions of the rest of the world. These news reports create mental maps for news audiences, cartographies of the imagination, from whatever news sources they draw upon. Because access to the world is highly mediated, it is largely through news reporting and commentary that we come to know that world. Thus, these maps of the news wield considerable symbolic power, feeding the social imaginary. News media power is two-fold. First, it is the power of selection, one of inclusion and exclusion, exposure and suppression. Second, it is the power of categorization, entailing classification, definition, and suppression.
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