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Journalism scholar and teacher James Carey dies

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. --Journalism scholar and teacher James Carey, who studied the interactions among journalism, mass media, culture and democracy, died in his home here Tuesday of complications from emphysema. He was 71.

Carey was the dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois for 13 years. He later joined Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1990, where he was the CBS professor of international journalism, said his wife, Elizabeth.

During his career, Carey wrote three books and more than 100 essays and articles on mass communication and journalism.

Carey served on the National Advisory Board of the Poynter Institute, a think tank for journalism in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Roy Peter Clark, vice president and senior scholar at Poynter, said one of Carey's greatest contributions helping to explain the difference between journalism and the media.

"For Jim, the media just described various ways in which people come to experience messages and information," Clark said. "For Jim, journalism was something different -- it was part of a conversation that communities had in order to create a better life and to fulfill the ideals of democracy."

Among Carey's books is "Communications as Culture," which Clark called a highly regarded study of how journalism, culture and technology combine to influence daily life.

Born in Providence, Carey received a bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island and a doctorate from the University of Illinois. As a boy, he suffered from a congenital heart defect that prevented him from attending school until he was high school age. Carey spent much of his time reading, writing and thinking, Clark said on a tribute posted on the Poynter Web site.

Carey is survived by his wife and four sons.

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