Conversations about power can be difficult and uncomfortable but also very important, for they must also accompany reflections about responsibility. As individuals who do not fit into traditional definitions of a ‘journalist’ gain more power over their own news consumption as well as those of other audiences, and as traditional journalists continue to be demonised and their work labelled as ‘fake news,’ the question can no longer be how journalists can retain that power or what audiences are doing to journalism. Instead, we must also find ways to ensure that those who wield power–either journalists or audiences–do so responsibly. But in our discussions and examinations of communication and power, we may also be overlooking the power that we as communication researchers may have.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I would like to thank the special issue editors, Wonsun Shin and Mark Davis, for their advice and comments. I also would like to thank my mentors and friends who have read earlier versions of this essay, including Rich Ling, Oscar Westlund, Folker Hanusch, Jyotika Ramaprasad, Joy Jenkins, Kim Hye Kyung, Sonny Rosenthal, Chen Lou, Goh Zhang Hao, and Seth Kai Seet. Lastly, thank you to the Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) for the opportunity to share an earlier version of this essay as a keynote address.
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