Journalism and Democracy: An Evaluation of the Political Public Sphere

By Brian McNair | Go to book overview

6


THE SOUND OF THE CROWD

reportage, interpretation and interrogation. In each of these contexts, journalists in a liberal democracy are called upon to stand between political actors and the public, mediating between the two groups in ways which are, overall, intended to be beneficial for the political process. Throughout this mediation of the political process the public is present only as an abstract, imagined audience, receiving information about and analysis and interpretation of events in the political sphere as a support for attitudeforming and decision-making. Through political interviews, as we have seen, citizens are able to evaluate politicians’ performances under interrogatory pressure.

All these forms of mediation, if the system is working as it should, have value as mechanisms for the circulation of political information in the public sphere. In none of them, however, is the citizen an active participant in the process (other than as a member of the ‘active audience’, of course). In none is she more than a recipient of information gathered, filtered, processed and packaged in various ways before it reaches her. And by itself (regardless of the quality of the political journalism under consideration) the receipt of information is inadequate to the realisation of a fully democratic political culture, and a public sphere which is more than an intellectual abstraction. A properly functioning public sphere requires mass access, not just to the consumption of political information through journalistic media of quality (however one defines that term) but to its production.

If one is to apply normative standards, then the public in a democracy should have opportunities not just to read about, or to watch and listen to the development of political debates as spectators, but to participate directly in them, through channels of access. This quality of the properly functioning public sphere can be defined as the ability of citizens, through the media apparatus furnished by a society’s given state of technology, to contribute to and participate in politics: communicating vertically, via the institutions of the media to those of the government and the state, as well

-105-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Journalism and Democracy: An Evaluation of the Political Public Sphere
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements ix
  • 1 - Journalism and Democracy 1
  • 2 - The Political Public Sphere 14
  • 3 - Policy, Process, Performance and Sleaze 42
  • 4 - The Interpretative Moment 61
  • 5 - The Interrogative Moment 84
  • 6 - The Sound of the Crowd 105
  • 7 - Spin, Whores, Spin 122
  • 8 - The Media and Politics, 1992-97 140
  • 9 - Political Journalism and the Crisis of Mass Representation 171
  • Notes 180
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 199
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 206

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.