chapter  1
13 Pages

Deliberation and Journalism


The news media are not merely mirrors of society or passive, impartial conveyors of information about social and political affairs. The news media’s infl uence on public agenda setting and communities’ understanding of issues and events makes them a major social power in their own right. The authors who have contributed to this book continue a long history of media practitioners, scholars and observers who have asked whether journalism’s power might be wielded to help societies recognize and resolve their problems. They remember the adage of playwright Arthur Miller, who wrote that a good newspaper is ‘a nation talking to itself’. In these days of globalization and multimedia proliferation, journalism should help the various publics that the print, broadcast and online media serve-whether they are small neighbourhoods or cross-national communities-to have meaningful conversations among themselves about issues that affect them. In other words, the book explores how journalism might support the processes of social deliberation.