John D Radcliff, Specializing in Interactive Technology & Education!

Media and the Control of Government

        According to Habermas, The news media was influenced and controlled by governments or state authorities.  Take the quote "In order that the writer of the journal might know what sort of domestic decrees, arrangements, and other matters are suitable for the public, such are to be compiled weekly by the authorities and are to be forwarded to the editor of the journal." 
        Also, Habermas states that parliament even insisted on certain things not being published publicly about them.  From this example, we can see that trying to control the media has been an on going issue even though governments or states have tried to exercise control over the media (journals), the reporters of that particular time would always find a way around it even if reporting on the issue was deamed illegal.  I get that certain types of information would not want to get published and broadcasted out in the public domain.  Yet, the more a state or government tries to censor the media, the more media will continue to expand and grow. 

        Look at the election in Iran and how the iranian government shutdown local T.V. and radio broadcasts.  The only news coming out of Iran during the 2009 elections were the protesters on the street tweeting about what was going on inside Iran.  The tweets also started to go as far as criticizing CNN on their failure to report on the event.  I think Habermas saw the start of the media and journalists reporting on the affairs of the state then the state trying to control the reports, but I don't think he saw how the media would start to be goverened by other people in the public reporting on the same event. 
        The explosion of the internet caused a shift of power that now the public and private spheres are collapsed into one which the government can try to influence but cannot control.  The tables have turned were now the media controls the government and the government has less control or influence on the media.  A mediaocracy has been created, which is maintaining control over a nation by utilizing the media, usually perpetrated under the guise of  "Freedom of Speech".  Habermas points to this stating that the state authority is public and has to address public issues.  What is not mentioned is now the state authority or government of a nation now reacts to the public (since the private sphere is now public) outcries which are initiated by the media who controls the state authority through different mediums.

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