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'A significant contribution to academic research.'
The Political Quarterly

'...makes an important contribution to debates around the relationship between celebrity and politics, democratic malaise and media effects, which should be of interest to, and should be read by, students both of politics and of media and society more generally.'
European Journal of Communication

'...an important book, contributing valuable empirical evidence on 'actually existing' public spheres and presenting us with some disturbing and thought – and hopefully, action - provoking findings.'
Journal of Consumer Culture

'This book is... a text I will certainly be recommending to students engaged in postgraduate study of audiences, or with any interest in the relationship between media and political engagement.'

'It is almost as if I had been waiting for precisely this book...with inspiring conceptual clarity, detailed empirical study, and a very accessible style, the authors explore the complex character of citizens' media connection in modern democracies.'
Professor Peter Dahlgren, Lund University, Sweden

'Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone, and Tim Markham apply a timely empirical lens to issues that have been taken-for-granted for too long. It has been too easy to assume a normative role for media in civic knowledge and participation in the face of evidence of decline and then to blame media for that decline. They show that the situation is much more subtle, nuanced, and complex than that; that while the media are central, media cannot alone address the broader conditions that strain a sense of public connection today.'
Professor Stewart M. Hoover, University of Colorado, USA

Media Consumption and Public Engagement: beyond the presumption of attention

Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone| and Tim Markham
Palgrave Macmillan (1 January 2010)

Governments in many countries fear voting turnout and political engagement is in terminal decline, threatening the long-term legitimacy of the democratic process. Meanwhile definitions of politics and the public world are changing, while media formats are proliferating and media audiences fragmenting in the age of digital media.

How are these important trends related? And what do our everyday habits of consuming media contribute to our possibilities of being effective citizens?

Nick Couldry, Sonia Livingstone and Tim Markham address these questions in this agenda-setting book, now available in a revised and updated paperback edition. Using a highly original methodology, drawing on diaries recording individuals perspectives on the public world, the book includes interviews, a nationwide survey and an authoritative review of the current literature on democratic theory, political sociology and media audiences. The result is a major assessment of the difference that media, and our ways of living with media, make to the condition of democracy.

  • Nick Couldry is Professor of Media and Communications, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

  • Sonia Livingstone is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications, LSE.

  • Tim Markham is Lecturer in Journalism in the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London.

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Media Consumption and Public Engagement