Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Small Town News

Fry's discussion of the "heartland" concept that framed TV news coverage of the floods has to be considered in the context of our national mythology and the romanticization of rural America as somehow the authentic America. So it shouldn't be surprising that the network news executives and also individual reporters would tend to frame stories along those lines--it's a matter of national and, in many cases, individual identity. And this problem isn't just limited to commodified cultural products like news. One interesting criticism of the Chicago school of sociologists--Park, Wirth, etc--is that the rural/urban typoplogy it used for analyzing social change in the U.S., and the rise of mass society, was that they were all small town boys who carried those values and conceptual frameworks into their adult lives as academics.

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