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MEDIA CRITIQUE, AGONISTIC RESPECT AND THE (IM)POSSIBILITY OF A “REALLY QUITE PRETENTIOUS” LIMINAL SPACE

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This essay reflects on the blogosphere reaction to a journal article of mine about the relationship between journalists and media academics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Much of the response reenacted the original essay's argument about journalistic antagonisms towards critical theoretical scholarship. I resituate the reaction in terms of the original essay's objectives, and discuss the chaotic nature of these academic field/journalistic field exchanges. I argue that it would be a mistake to simply dismiss the blogosphere attacks, because that would merely reinscribe my identity in the blind antagonistic frame I had originally critiqued. Instead, revisiting aspects of the original essay that were subsequently ignored, I elaborate on the implications of William Connolly's call for an ethos of “agonistic respect” both for the articulation of an engaged counter-response and the interrogation of political and cultural antagonisms more generally.
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Keywords: Aotearoa New Zealand blogosphere; academic field; agonistic respect; critical theory; journalism education; journalistic field

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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