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* Why do the reports and representations of suffering and misery move us?
* What are we likely to do about it and why?
* Why do people take part in telethon appeals?
Most of us have watched television or read newspapers and been moved to compassion by the suffering and misery that we see. We know that many people suffer thanks to war, famine or environmental catastrophe. But what do the reports and representations of the suffering and misery of others actually mean to media users?
Compassion, Morality and the Media seeks to answer this question and offers an engaging narrative through which it becomes possible to think about the role of journalists as moral agents. The author explores the tensions between the intentions of journalists, the horizons of the audience and the priorities of media institutions. This is a book which deals with important issues that have been relatively neglected in the academic study of the media. It is accessible and relevant and opens up a new terrain for research and teaching on the media as a moral force. Students taking undergraduate courses on the media and others with a wider interest in media morality will find it to be compelling reading.
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Keith Tester is Professor of Social Theory in the School of Social and Historical Studies at the University of Portsmouth. He is the author of a number of books and articles which deal with aspects of morality in contemporary social and cultural relationships, including most recently The Inhuman Condition (1995) and Moral Culture (1997).
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