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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Journalism serves multiple democratic functions identified here as information, investigation, analysis, social empathy, public forum, mobilization, and democratic education. All help make representative democracy a better system than direct democracy and not just an attenuated direct democracy. New thinking in political theory emphasizes this and insists that the agents of representation in modern democracy are not just legislatures but a wide variety of civil society monitors of government, including of course the press, whose role in defining contemporary democracy deserves more attention in the effort to place the news media’s democratic role in perspective. Within this framework, an attempt is made to outline criteria for assessing the adequacy of the news media for serving democracy. These include not only the much studied and counted legal and political guarantees of freedom but also journalistic professionalism and values, diversity of perspectives available in the news system, and access to government information.

Keywords: journalism, democracy, news, social empathy, representative democracy, monitory democracy, freedom of speech, professionalism, commercialism

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