Tertius Tactics: “Mediated Social Capital” as a Resource of Power for Traditional Commercial News Media


Corresponding author: Kristy Hess; e-mail: kristy.hess@deakin.edu.au


This essay reconceptualizes “social capital” as it relates to scholarship regarding the traditional news media. Much academic attention links the news media to Robert Putnam's view which focuses on social capital as enhancing “civic pride” and collective/community involvement. I suggest Putnam's perspective is often adopted without wider exploration of what the theory may offer the future of the commercial news media in western societies. This essay proposes the term “mediated social capital” may be a more suitable lens through which to consider this theory, taking a cue from Pierre Bourdieu who views social capital as a resource of power that may be utilized to maintain or build a position of advantage.