WEEK 2: ‘The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article’ (Communication Debates and Approaches)

According to Habermas, what role did newspapers play in the emergence of the public sphere?

Public opinion is accessible to all citizens – “private individuals assemble to form a public body” (portion of public sphere). Newspapers started to be a “compilation” of notices and were once seen as mere “institutions” of publications for the news . Newspapers  then emerged to be in fact a higher opinion and a ‘leader’ of public opinions of the news. Newspapers, along with magazines, radio and television are the media of the public sphere. This introduced the difference of gathering news information and the publication of the news – as it news papers now enforced a ‘public opinion’ rather than just stating factual information / notices. This making news the “dealer” of the publics opinion rather than the “vendor” of recent news.

– Habermas, J 2009 ‘The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article’, in Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, pp. 73-78. –


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