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Revista de Sociologia e Política

Print version ISSN 0104-4478


FONSECA, Francisco C. P.. Media and democracy: false convergences.Translated byMeryl Adelman. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2006, vol.1Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-4478.

This article discusses the false convergence between the role of the media in promoting democracy and political theories of democracy. With this purpose in mind, we propose critical reflections on arguments that: 1) naturalize the fact that "the news" is a commodity; b) focus on the (supposedly) public goals of the media, in spite of the reality that their agencies are largely private; c) link these agencies to liberal- democratic values. Thus, the text attempts to show both the absence of and need for shields - personified in the theories of weights and counterbalances - against the powers that be, particularly those of the media. We point to the paradox involved in the media's role as intermediary between public and private spheres and question the degree to which the media permit fulfillment of the idea that those have control should be controlled, particularly in a world in which communication has extended its action to the planetary level. We conclude that democracy can only be made effective if democratic controls over the media are exercised; this means the creation of national and international level public information media that would be neither privately nor state owned and managed.

Keywords : media; democracy; democratic theory; democratic control.

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