Introduction: Media, Democracy and Difference



In this chapter I outline the central themes of the book. This book is about the relationship between media and democratic theory when viewed from the periphery. Its central themes are not new to scholarship. However, in looking at these themes from the perspective of ethnic media, rather than through a concern with more powerful established media industries, the book proposes a different way of approaching some of the fundamental questions facing journalism, media and democracy in ethnically diverse societies today. Democracy, and the media’s role in it, are undergoing a period of fundamental change (Keane, 2013; Mouffe, 2000b, 2005). Processes of diversification through migration, globalisation, technological transformations and new claims to identity, have made problematic any neat relationship between the public and the media (Karppinen, 2013a). For some, such pluralisms present a challenge to the consensus politics of the democratic world. For others, a crisis of liberal democracy can be seen in the new despotisms and extremisms that have emerged as a response to such diversification (Keane, 2013). At the very least, such transformations give credence to Charles Taylor’s prognosis from over 20 years ago that, “democratic societies are going to have to engage in a constant process of self-reinvention” (Taylor, 1998: 149).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MediaUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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