Summary of Political Journalism in a Networked Age

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Political Journalism in a Networked Age summary


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To continue to publish newsworthy stories while reducing government intrusion, journalists need to consider how they communicate and with whom. getAbstract recommends this edited excerpt from new media expert Clay Shirky’s contribution to the anthology Journalism After Snowden to journalists, reporters and those with an interest in the complex relationship between the press and governments.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the historical relationship between media and government is eroding,  
  • How journalism is likely to change in the future, and  
  • What journalists need to do to ensure they continue to report on newsworthy stories. 

About the Author

Clay Shirky is an author, consultant and teacher of the social and economic effects of Internet technologies and journalism. He teaches at New York University and is a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.



Historically, the press and governments had an unspoken understanding in which neither side stood to gain from upsetting the other in the long term, however tempting the short-term gain might be. Although it may have current information that it would like to publish, the media need to maintain access to government sources. Similarly, the government may wish to censor some information, but it needs a good relationship with the press so that it has leverage to stop the stories it wishes to prevent from going public. However, individual whistle blowers or leakers have no worries over preserving future relationships.

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