Students will find Johnston and Gullivers’ book an excellent introduction to the theoretical debates around the concept of the ‘public interest’, an idea which is of central importance in ethics, democratic government, the law, and the notion of a ‘free press’. In the second half of the book explorations of public interest communication in action encourage the reader to concretize these debates in relation to complex contemporary concerns including; environmental activism, human rights advocacy, sustainability, building social capital, interest group coalitions and gender based violence. This book encourages students of communication to adopt an international focus and think critically about the communication challenges across a wide range of socio-political contexts.’

Dr Ian Somerville, Head of School of Media, Communication and Sociology, University of Leicester

‘What an amazing resource for students. The mixture of accessible and informative text, case studies, interactive activities, and more make this such an engaging read.’

Professor Kelly Fielding, University of Queensland

‘This book is an excellent resource for students, practitioners, and community organisations among others, which provides a comprehensive overview and deeper insights situating public interest communication in society. It connects theory with practice so smoothly it is sure to provide clarity for students/readers gaining a first impression or investigating at greater depth. It’s dynamic, multimedia nature with hyperlinks opening a wealth of definitions, future reading, viewing, listening, and exploring opportunities through academic literature, case studies, interviews, videos, podcasts, and more. It is written in accessible and simple terms, but this does not at all indicate simplistic. Rather, complex issues are addressed in such an accessible way I can see it being a valuable resource for many, across sectors and interests beyond those working in communication and the third sector.’

Assistant Professor Michele Clark, Bond University

‘This book shines a spotlight on the strategic value and purpose of communication by showing its centrality to finding solutions. While addressing action as well as theory, it goes beyond the usual tactical-level discussion to focus on the context in which communication contributes to society. Recognising that public interest communication is often aspirational, the book nevertheless inspires the reader with many real-life examples of the power of communication in addressing social dynamics and contested situations.’

Dr Leanne Glenny, University of South Australia

‘This is a fabulous introduction to key concepts in public interest communication. It untangles the notion of ‘publics’ and shows how theories of the public interest, the public sphere, and discourse arenas, among others, intersect with communication practice. A range of examples and case studies demonstrate how communication can respond to public interests though media and social action. The digital, multimedia format is easy to navigate. Pop-up definitions and links to additional material are a useful resource and embedded audio and video bring life to key themes. This is an ideal text for students of public relations and strategic communication and anyone wanting an introduction to the topic.’

Dr Skye Doherty, University of Queensland

‘The updated concepts and theories in the new Pressbook as the pinnacle of resource and information and interest for this course was so incredible.’

Student, COMU3015: Public Interest Communication course 2021, University of Queensland

‘I really liked the Pressbook, I think this gave really clear and interesting insights into each topic.’

Student, COMU3015: Public Interest Communication course 2021, University of Queensland


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Public Interest Communication Copyright © 2022 by Jane Johnston and Robyn Gulliver is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.