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Javnost - The Public, Vol. 16 - 2009, No. 2

, pages: 5-24

The overall aim of this work is to contribute to the discussion of theoretical aspects of critical media and communication theory. A typology of critical media and communication studies is constructed. Example approaches that are based on the commodity hypothesis, the ideology hypothesis, the alternative media hypothesis, and the alternative reception hypothesis are discussed. It is argued that integrative bridging approaches can be found and that a disciplinary matrix can enhance the dialogue about commonalities and differences within critical communication studies.

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, , pages: 25-40

The idea of the public sphere represents an important fundament of modern western self-images and is topic of communication theory. Habermas and Noelle-Neumann are two of the most renowned representatives in this field. Both developed their approaches in the same context, during the post-war era of 1960s West Germany. Nevertheless, fundamental differences exist between the two conceptualisations of the public sphere. This article seeks to make sense of these differences by comparing the authors’ biographies and suggesting that a strong connection exists between author’s life experience and his or her theory. We employed a category system based mainly on the habitus-concept of Bourdieu and complemented it with the generation-approaches developed in sociology of knowledge. Our findings show that the differences in theory between Habermas and Noelle-Neumann can be understood in terms of differences in their milieu of origin and their academic socialisation. Ultimately, even more important seem to be opposite experiences of the authors with the public on the one hand and the generational gap between them on the other.

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, pages: 41-60

Community media presuppose not only the existence of larger, dominant media systems, but of multiple smaller, local publics as well. Small-scale public spheres are distinct from the larger public spheres of media not only in size and scope, but also in their character and function. Smallscale public spheres are distinct from the larger public spheres of media not only in size and scope, but also in their character and function. The article explores the work of Nicholas Garnham, Charles H. Cooley and Benjamin Barber as a way to answer the questions of what does such a small-scale public sphere look like, and how might broadcasting operate within it? Media systems based in a small-scale public sphere provide greater opportunities for participation and access than do mass media, but the benefits of community media do not come easily. Three main limitations present barriers to media of the smallscale public sphere: capital investment, restricted access, and apathy.

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, pages: 61-76

This essay compares and contrasts the goals of Buddhist journalism with the general traits of the dominant/ Western news paradigm to demonstrate the gap between the moral aspirations of the Orient and the instrumental materialistic traits revealed through the performance of the dominant/Western paradigm, which has even marginalised the moral imperatives of the Decalogue The essay goes on to assess the unique opportunities off ered by Buddhist journalism, which no other genre of journalism – developmental, civic/public, peace – is able to off er to improve the quality of journalism, journalists and their profession.

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, , pages: 77-94

In news broadcasts, there is a growing tendency to rely on the voices of ordinary people in comparison with official voices, such as media professionals and experts. In our study, which is based on a quantitative and qualitative content analysis and interviews with journalists, we look at the vox pops on the Dutch public service newscast, NOS News. This article addresses questions of how ordinary people take part in public discussion - what kind of views and emotions they express – and how journalists assess the quality of the vox pops and the emotional expression they include. Our study is discussed in the context of citizen participation in public life through the mass media, the emotionalising of news journalism and the crisis of public service broadcasting. We suggest that the emotional dimension of news, exemplifi ed in the vox pops interviews, should be examined in terms of its potential to foster passions and identities that connect people with public life and with each other.

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