Cuban citizen Fariñas Hernández stopped eating on January 31, 2006. The head of the independent news agency, Cubanácan Press, went on a hunger strike because the government closed the office’s Internet access, one of the few opportunities to break through the strong media control exercised by the regime. Hernández stated that any Cuban citizen should have the right to acquire information, despite the conformity imposed on the island’s media by state authorities, and that he was ready to die as a martyr for that objective (Rüb, 2006). Beyond its obvious reference to freedom of speech
and related values, this example also illustrates how crucial content diversity seems to be for our view of mass media as part of a pluralistic society. Hernández’s main argument is not the right to publish his own ideas without censorship but the opportunity to be informed by a wide and diverse range of sources. In other words, for mass media to contribute effectively and ethically to a pluralistic society, it must exhibit content diversity. In the past, communication scholars have studied content diversity from different perspectives. This chapter reviews both theoretical and empirical work on content diversity, representing research from diverse frameworks and levels of assessment.