Journalism, representation and the public sphere

Title chapter:Three levels of the crisis of the media - and a way out
Author:Hannu Nieminen
Keywords: media crisis; media system; communication policy; media regulation
Abstract:In the course of the past 30 years, the role of the media has fundamentally changed. Together with other epistemic systems, including the education system and cultural institutions, the media - first newspapers, then radio and television - was once elemental in the construction of civic identity and citizen subjects; which was necessary for the consolidation of European national democracies. As a result of the globalisation and financialization of the economy, however, the competence of nation states to provide welfare for their citizens and to serve their national economies has withered. This has weakened the ability of the media to bring nations together in the same ways it did in the 1970s and 1980s. As a result, it is claimed that the media has lost its historic role in serving the process of the formation of the political subject (an informed citizen). To re-establish the historical relationship between media and democracy, it is argued that because of the changes in the modes of production, the growing level of education, and the increase in free time, civic subjectivity has already transformed and continues to change into a more self-reflexive and autonomous individuality. And it is here, in the organisation and mobilisation of the new global political subject, where the media in all its different forms can play a crucial role today.
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