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The Role of Public Relations in a Modern Liberal Democracy - Essay Example

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The mediation role of mass media and broadcasting currently encompasses almost all areas extending from the home to the workplace. The essay in this context will critically evaluate the role of public relations (using mass media) in a modern liberal democracy…
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The Role of Public Relations in a Modern Liberal Democracy
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Download file to see previous pages Some experts contend that the extent to which media works as a public sphere, representing the civic populace, while remaining free and accessible to all, works as a chief indicator of democracy within a political order. This stems from an old tradition that positions media at a juncture between the governed and the governors. Thus, from this viewpoint democracy appears as a relative concept, where its nature is dependent on the movement of public information. This, in turn, helps to ascertain to what extent the citizens can take steps grounded in informed decisions to make the governors liable for their activities. From the perspective of the orthodox democracy theory, the public sphere is a realm between the two distinctly separate two areas, civil society and the state, which ensures protections for each individual within the society. According to the Liberal theory, the public sphere is equal to the political sphere, and the mass media’s public role is delineated in relation to the state. The liberal theory theorizes on the virtues of civil society's ascendency over the state (Curran 1991). Along with this, it also views the market as the process optimally suited for addressing all information requirements of society. However, as market-led information to tend to move through privatization, conglomeration and deregulation, after a certain limit it fails to meet the requirements necessary for maintaining democratic ideals of freedom and equal accessibility (Garnham 1986). Major contentions to the liberal press theories have faced challenges from the other democratic theory pertaining to the Marxist viewpoint. From the position of an orthodox Marxist, within capitalist societies, the public sphere tends to disguise the ascendency of media that does not directly confront the liberal nature of the public sphere. Instead of breaking out of the dichotomy that exists between a liberal civil society and the state, Marxism rejected all reforms within the public sphere and considered socialist transformation as the only solution. In this context, to overcome the weak points as seen within the orthodox liberal democracy theory and Marxist theory, Curran suggested amalgamation of the collectivist approach with a general market approach, for democratisation of public sphere by making it more representative and accessible. Analysing mass media as a part of the public sphere from a modern perspective has helped modern liberal democracy theory to transcend the traditional civil society-state polarisation that has dictated all media debate until recently (Dahlgren 1991). Orthodox democratic theory rejected the method in which differences were made between public and private domains, which currently is the chief factor in the definition of public sphere within the realms of liberal democracy theory. The mediation role of mass media and broadcasting currently encompasses almost all areas extending from the home to the workplace (Curran 1991).  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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