While HBO’s The Newsroom presents itself as fictional television, its narrative is clearly driven by critiquing cable news culture and contemporary journalism ethics. Audiences are not only supposed to be entertained by it, they are expected to engage with the program to consider a host of issues, from the broader purpose of journalism in society, to its contemporary status and performance, to the politics of the nation. Simply put, the show acts as a catalyst for impassioned discussion and debate. This chapter utilises The Newsroom as a case study to contextualize the struggle over owning the terms-of-debate in a media-saturated age and highly-commercialized (American) news landscape. It investigates this in the context of a nascent and fiercely-contested public pedagogy on journalism performance and increasingly prominent metanarratives about the profession. This chapter assumes that evaluating reception to – and the value of – entertainment products in any great depth obliges us to simultaneously consider shifts in perception surrounding what they represent. However, the converse to this claim also holds true. A central claim this chapter makes is that evaluating the interwoven discourses surrounding this fictional program reveals much about the actual news industry itself, its societal value, public reputation and media literacy in general. By utilising an approach to storytelling that sets a fictional program in the world of recent non-fictional events, the semi-fictional Newsroom foregrounds contemporary debates about the world of cable news and knowledges and practices of ‘good journalism’.
|Title of host publication||Entertainment Values : How do we Assess Entertainment and Why does it Matter?|
|Place of Publication||Sydney|
|Publication date||Aug 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2017|
|Series||Palgrave Entertainment Industries|