Democratic media

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Democratic media is a form of media organization that strives to have the principles of democracy underlying not only the production of content, but also the organization of the entire project.

Definition of the term[edit]

Democratic Media is the concept of organising media along democratic lines rather that strictly commercial and/or ideological lines. Like the idea of democracy itself, democratic media looks to transparency, inclusiveness, one-person-one-vote and other key concepts of democracy as principals of operation, "This is a media who's primary objectives are to inform, be open, independent and be accountable."[1] This is in contrast to the idea that media should be run by commercial operations and with an agenda to make profit from providing media and where the media reflects the opinions and values of the owner and /or advertisers It is also in contrast to state-run operations where the media reflects the value system of the state itself. Edward S Herman lays out what he thought the form that democratic media would take[2]

Background of the term[edit]

The idea of democratic media stems from the belief that media is a vital part of a democratic society;[3]

To therefore, if media is vital for democracy, democratic media argues that media itself needs to be organized along different lines to the existing forms;[3]

The idea of democratic media is still in its infancy as noted by Carroll & Hackett (2006[4] where they term it 'democratic media activism' however the idea does have older roots; In 'Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics, and the Media' Edward S Herman wrote that democratic media was a condition of democracy;[5]

The term has been used to describe a number of new media projects from Wikipedia[6] to the Indymedia movement to describe how it saw itself;[7]

Democratic media differs from similar (and related) concepts such as citizen media, media democracy and independent media (aka alternative media) in that it puts as much emphasis on the organization of the media project as it does on the content. (Note; this definition means that an independent media or citizen media project can also be a democratic media project, but being an independent media or citizen media project does not mean it is automatically a form of democratic media. It also means there could be a project that promotes the concepts of media democracy without it itself explicitly claiming to be a form of democratic media.) For a media project to be considered democratic media it must have (or strive towards) the following characteristics:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Towards A Democratic Media - Strategic Media Planning v3
  2. ;Herman, Edward (1997) Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics and the Media. Montreal, Black Rose Books. p.215
  3. 3.0 3.1 Robert W. McChesney, Making Media Democratic, Boston Review
  4. http://mcs.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/28/1/83 Democratic media activism through the lens of social movement theory
  5. Herman, Edward (1997) Triumph of the Market: Essays on Economics, Politics and the Media. Montreal, Black Rose Books. p.213
  6. Wikipedia: the dawn of democratic media?
  7. Nottingham Indymedia Flyer