Media, pluralism and democracy : what's in a name?Media, pluralism and democracy : what's in a name?
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Media, policy and culture
Media, culture and society. - London, 1979, currens
37(2015):7, p. 1042-1059
University of Antwerp
Media pluralism has become a buzzword in public, political, and academic discourses. However, it is generally unclear what is meant by referring to pluralistic media content or how pluralistic media should operate within democratic societies. The goal of this article is to distinguish between different conceptual and normative assumptions about media, pluralism, and democracy that demarcate the limits of analysis on media pluralism. Based on a discussion of three different schools of democracy with their corresponding media roles (the liberal, deliberative, and agonistic democracy schools), we derive two fault lines which allow us to distinguish four approaches to media pluralism. These approaches imply a different interpretation of its meaning and the standards by which it should be researched.