Markku Koski: ‘Hohto on mennyt herrana olemisesta’ [‘The glory has gone from being a VIP’]

7 May 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

‘Hohto on mennyt herrana olemisesta’ – Televisio ja poliitikko
[‘The glory has gone from being a VIP’ – the television and the politician]
Tampere: Vastapaino, 2010. 254 p.
ISBN 978-951-768-249-7
€ 29, paperback

This book, based on the author’s doctoral thesis in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Tampere, presented in February 2010, takes as its starting point Walter Benjamin’s well-known essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’. Koski applies Benjamin’s ideas on cinema and film stars to contemporary television and politics. Koski maintains that while the public have become alienated from politics, politicians have also become alienated from themselves and have become reiterative entities whose essential content is repetition. After television and other new media have called into question traditional forms of politics, a significant challenge for politicians has been to prevent viewers from getting bored. Koski discusses relationship between politics and comedy, the ‘cynical’ viewer, the popular public image of Marshal Mannerheim (an iconic figure in Finnish history and politics) and the popularity of Sauli Niinistö, the frontrunner in the upcoming (2012) Finnish presidential election. Dr Koski also considers historical and contemporary image politicians in various other countries.


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