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The platformization of the public sphere and its challenge to democracy


Fischer, Renate; Jarren, Otfried (2024). The platformization of the public sphere and its challenge to democracy. Philosophy and Social Criticism, 50(1):200-215.

Abstract

Democracy depends on a vivid public sphere, where ideas disseminate into the public and can be discussed – and challenged - by everyone. Journalism has contributed significantly to this social mediation by reducing complexity, providing information on salient topics and (planned) political solutions. The digital transformation of the public sphere leads to new forms of media provision, distribution, and use. Journalism has struggled to adapt to the new conditions. Journalistic news values, relevant to democracy, are being replaced by ones relevant to social media platforms’ attention seeking business model. We plead for a broad public debate about the ongoing platformization and about possible policies to ensure a media system that serves and strengthens democracy.

Abstract

Democracy depends on a vivid public sphere, where ideas disseminate into the public and can be discussed – and challenged - by everyone. Journalism has contributed significantly to this social mediation by reducing complexity, providing information on salient topics and (planned) political solutions. The digital transformation of the public sphere leads to new forms of media provision, distribution, and use. Journalism has struggled to adapt to the new conditions. Journalistic news values, relevant to democracy, are being replaced by ones relevant to social media platforms’ attention seeking business model. We plead for a broad public debate about the ongoing platformization and about possible policies to ensure a media system that serves and strengthens democracy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:070 News media, journalism & publishing
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Political Science
Uncontrolled Keywords:public sphere, democracy, journalism, social media, platform regulation
Language:English
Date:1 January 2024
Deposited On:17 Oct 2023 09:23
Last Modified:29 Feb 2024 02:50
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0191-4537
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/01914537231203535
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)