Images of citizenship on television: Constructing a passive public

Justin Lewis, Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Sanna Inthorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the largest content analysis of its kind, this article analyses the ways in which public opinion and citizenship is referenced or invoked on television news in the United States and Britain. The study is discussed in the context of the debate about declining citizen participation in representative politics. One of the study's main findings is that citizenship and public opinion are generally represented as passive, rather than engaged. This suggests that showing an engaged citizenry conflicts with current journalistic practices, and that any attempt to encourage more engagement will require rethinking those conventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004

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