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To what extent do the news media fulfill Habermas' definition of public sphere - Essay Example

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To what extent do the news media fulfill Habermas' definition of public sphere

By saying meeting it does not necessarily mean practical meetings, but rather it refers to any forum in which citizens can be heard. This essay tries to explore the different ways in which televisions in particular promotes the idea of public sphere. Odugbemi (2008, p.15) agrees that since televisions are among the news media that visually present their news, they have been found to be the most preferred news medium. According to Habermas, public sphere is a domain in which public views and opinions are formed (Marx, 2002, p. 295). It can also be said to be an arena where people meet, share ideas regarding the public, discuss this ideas and finally come up with a public opinion. The arena can be looked at from different perspectives for instance it can be a particular place where people meet (social halls), or it can be an infrastructural communication facility through which individuals can exchange opinions (television). Habermas considers the public sphere to be a utility that promotes participatory democracy, since democracy emphasizes on citizens’ right of expression. Marx (2002, p. 324) contends that good functioning of the public sphere stresses on good participatory of citizens in matters of the public like governance. Let us then make a critical analysis on the ways which televisions use to promote the public sphere, and how successful they have been. First we have to understand the fundamental role of TVs as we explore their public sphere promotional function. Odugbemi (2008, p. 33) asserts that televisions’ primary function is to let people be aware of new happenings across the globe. They provide important information to all the stakeholders in particular happenings for example in times of disasters. In disaster cases, they make the public aware of such a situation, so that citizens can know what to do. Sociologically, TVs act like a “social glue” which brings people together by giving them similar information regardless of their geographic boundaries. In public sphere promotion, they create a means through which citizens can share their ideas (Odugbemi, 2008, p. 37). If we consider a disaster case like in cases of fire accidents, TV journalists are always punctual and ready to inform the public about what had just happened. Einwiller, Carroll and Korn (2010, p. 299) asserts that through appropriate coordination, journalists liaise with presenters in the broadcasting such news. However, the fact remains that journalists are always not present on the happening of the accidents. Then how do they get to know what had happened? This can be done through journalists questioning the people who were present during the happening. They can even put them on camera as they give their account of what had happened (Hurvitz, 2001, p. 12). Through such sharing, the public can be able to estimate the causes of the accident and the effects. Televisions are among the best agents of public sphere promotions since their events can be visually examined. According to Hurvitz (2001, p. 14) televisions have also presented people’s views during public demonstrations by giving people a chance to express how they feel about a particular issue of concern. Citizens’ public demonstrations can be of no use if they cannot be given a chance to express themselves. Their demonstrations can ...Show more


TO WHAT EXTENT DO THE NEWS MEDIA FULFIL HABERMAS’ DEFINITION OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE? Instructor Institution Date Abstract There are a variety of news media which publicize important information to the public. Each particular medium has its own advantages and disadvantages in the way in which it notifies the public major happens round the world (Marx, 2002, p…
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To what extent do the news media fulfill Habermas definition of public sphere
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