Heroes and Scoundrels:
The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture

Heroes and Scoundrels

By Matthew C. Ehrlich
Professor of journalism at the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
and
Joe Saltzman
Professor of journalism and communication
at the University of Southern California

Publication date: April 2015. University of Illinois Press

Conclusion
Imagining the Future

In considering the role and character of journalism in the years to come, we turn once more to popular culture. We will examine some of the ways pop culture has imagined the press of the future and has anticipated or ad­dressed the transformations that journalism is grappling with now. We then will summarize what we know and do not know about the image of the jour­nalist in popular culture, and we will suggest some paths that researchers of the future might take.

Ehrlich-Saltzman, Heroes and Scoundrels: The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture – page 141. ©University of Illinois Press, 2015


Speculative fiction’s journalism of tomorrow is not so different from popular culture’s journalism of today or yesterday.

Hero and scoundrel, delightful and despicable, public servant and public menace—that is the image of the journalist that popular culture gives us. Pop culture routinely makes the press matter by showing good journalism saving the day and bad journalism wreaking pain and havoc. It suggests that in spite of formidable obstacles and occasional wrenching change, the press and its noblest ideals will somehow endure. Therein lies the “unseen power” of journalism’s popular image, and that is why it is necessary that we continue to study and care about it.

Ehrlich-Saltzman, Heroes and Scoundrels: The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture – pages 150, 154. ©University of Illinois Press, 2015

 

Other Resources:

Loren Ghiglione, Does science fiction -- yes science fiction -- suggest futures for news?

Heroes at the Push of a Button: The Image of the Photojournalist in Videogames, by Jake Gaskill, graduate student, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, June 2007

Check out the other chapters:

Introduction

History

Professionalism

Difference

Power

Image

War

Conclusion