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The following has been copied & pasted here from the main John Dewey article for someone to work it into this article:
But in the era of mass media, Dewey exposes two conundra:
The modern dispersal of information is so rapid and universal as to grossly amplify the extent of the indirect consequences. Modern publics increasingly form in response to mass-mediated information about very distant, impersonal actions, as opposed to familiar community-based issues. How can such vast, loosely-bonded publics agree to make a coherent response to the very problems that define them?
For Dewey, public knowledge, a prerequisite for democracy, can only come from direct participation in action. But the mass-mediated public is too large and scattered to coordinate a mass-response. Since such a public is unable to interact and identify problems as local phenomena, they instead react as a mass to second-hand news. Can a mass-mediated public engage in social progress?
These are the central themes of public journalism. It is no coincidence that public journalism's resistance to the mass-mediation of information borrows heavily from The Public and Its Problems, as that was likewise written in response to the views of Walter Lippmann (see below). Indeed, Walter Lippmann played a central role in both the corporatization of journalism and the mass-mediation of the government as a very prominent journalist and as an advisor to the President of the United States. Dewey saw his views as incompatible with democratic ideals.
Dewey also revisioned journalism to fit this model by taking the focus from actions or happenings and changing the structure to focus on choices, consequences, and conditions, in order to foster conversation and improve the generation of knowledge in the community. Journalism would not just produce a static product that told of what had already happened, but the news would be in a constant state of evolution as the community added value by generating knowledge. The audience would disappear, to be replaced by citizens and collaborators who would essentially be users, doing more with the news than simply reading it.
Through participating in public life, people find each other and create the Public. When the public interacts with officials and government, then an effective State is formed. Dewey believed people should experiment with their actions. Therefore, since action, knowledge and inquiry were always changing, the State must always be redefined. In this way, the public and officials constantly work to create and define the state.