Faculty of Arts


Journalism and the Public Sphere


Some critics have voiced concerns about the future of journalism, and about the apparent lack of a unified public space where citizens can converse seriously about matters of collective concern. An "information explosion" has been accompanied by news "fragmentation" and demands for journalism to meet widely divergent objectives. Long regarded as the bedrock supplier of political information, the newspaper industry has been damaged by the flight of advertising and readers to the internet. The expansion of choice created by "post-broadcast" media technologies has unleashed a wholesale "flight to entertainment" with serious democratic consequences. Under such relentlessly hostile conditions, what is the future for public debate? Is the public sphere disintegrating? What democratic role, if any, might there be left for professional journalism to play? The course surveys the history of tabloid news and reviews modernist and post-modernist responses to contemporary mediated cultures.

Availability 2012

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Joe Atkinson
Lecturer(s) Dr Gavin Ellis


Luke Goode, Jurgen Habermas: Democracy and the Public Sphere, London, Pluto Press, 2005.

Recommended Reading

Markus Prior, Post-Broadcast Democracy: How Media Choice Increases Inequality in Political Involvement and Polarizes Elections. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007


Coursework + exam


POLITICS 233: 15.0 points


Any 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies; or FTVMS 100 and 101


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