The 'democracy of conversation' : The panel and the public sphere

Harrington, Stephen (2005) The 'democracy of conversation' : The panel and the public sphere. Media International Australia, pp. 75-87.

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If news is a fundamental part of the public sphere and ideals of democracy, then continuing assertions about the public’s lack of engagement with its topics is a worrying trend. However, much of this worry may be conflated by a lack of understanding about both the lived experiences of audiences (particularly youth audiences) and the news media environment more generally. This paper examines The Panel, a Ten Network ‘new’ news program which appears to have a significant deal of power in the mediatised postmodern public sphere. Through its discursive format, and by making news more comprehensible and interesting, the program is able to increase the potential for everyday ‘rational-critical’ debate at the heart of the public sphere (Habermas, 1989: 117). This theory is examined here through the use of interviews with members of The Panel’s production team and focus groups conducted with youth audiences.

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ID Code: 19377
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 1324-5325
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 The University of Queensland
Deposited On: 02 Apr 2009 23:48
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:16

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