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This agenda-setting volume brings together leading scholars of media and public life to grapple with how media research can make sense of the massive changes rocking politics and the media world. Each author identifies a 'most pressing' question for scholars working at the intersection of journalism, politics, advocacy, and technology. The authors then suggest different research approaches designed to highlight real-world stakes and offer a path toward responsive, productive action. Chapters explore our 'datafied' lives, journalism's deep responsibilities and daunting challenges, media's inclusions (and non-inclusions), the riddle of digital engagement, and the obligations scholars must attempt to meet in an era of networked information. The result is a rich forum that addresses how media transformations carry serious implications for public life. Original, provocative, and generative, this book is international in its orientation and makes a compelling case for public scholarship.
This chapter summarizes the book’s aim, which is to explore how scholars working at the intersections of journalism, politics, and activism make sense of and relate to some of the most pressing issues concerning contemporary developments in media and public life. Matthew Powers and Adrienne Russell describe recurrent questions that confront scholars of media and public life, and then summarize the core themes explored in the volume, which are living in a datafied world, journalism in times of change, media and problems of inclusion, engagement with and through media, and the role of scholars.