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Journalists in FilmHeroes and Villains$
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Brian McNair

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748634460

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748634460.001.0001

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(p.174) Chapter 11 King-makers
Journalists in Film

Brian Mcnair

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter looks at films about public relations. It specifically investigates the ways in which cinema has represented the journalistic king-makers, and also the changing nature of media power in the age of the internet. Sweet Smell of Success is revered as a powerful and prescient exploration of the rising power of the journalist in democratic societies, and a warning against the abuse of that power. As in films about journalism, cinematic representations of public relations professionals often combine grime with glamour, and positive with negative images. As a film about journalism, Citizen Kane formulates both the normative liberal ideal. Rupert Murdoch may turn out to have been the last media baron. The structures of media power are being radically transformed, with uncertain consequences for democratic and authoritarian societies alike.

Keywords:   films, public relations, cinema, journalistic king-makers, media power, internet, Sweet Smell of Success, Citizen Kane, journalism, Rupert Murdoch

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