Abstract and Keywords
The media play an important role in deliberative systems. Although several scholars are skeptical about the potential for enhancing deliberation, this chapter argues that the media system does not necessarily hinder deliberative practices. A better understanding of today’s hybrid media environment—one that merges mass and interpersonal communication and produces mixed-media relationships—is necessary for a critical perspective of connections among parts of a deliberative system. This analysis contends that political communication across Internet-based forums hosted by government bodies, the mainstream media, and multi-platforms of citizens’ talk should be assessed by taking into consideration diversified, complex, and usually contradictory interactions amongst actors that have distinct functions and interests within the political system. Insofar as deliberative principles and expectations are counterfactual, empirical research is always needed to investigate whether or not deliberative virtues are present in different contexts of media-based communication in a continuum of practices that form the deliberative system.
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