Community broadcasting and the enclosure of the public sphere

van Vuuren, Kitty (2006) Community broadcasting and the enclosure of the public sphere. Media, Culture & Society, 28 3: 379-392.

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Author van Vuuren, Kitty
Title Community broadcasting and the enclosure of the public sphere
Journal name Media, Culture & Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0163-4437
Publication date 2006-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0163443706062891
Volume 28
Issue 3
Start page 379
End page 392
Total pages 14
Editor R. Boyle
J. Corner
N. Garnham
et al.
Place of publication London
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject C1
400104 Communication and Media Studies
751004 The media
Abstract One of the normative tenets of the Habermasian public sphere is that it should be an open and universally accessible forum. In Australia, one way of achieving this is the provision for community broadcasting in the Broadcasting Services Act. A closer examination of community broadcasting, however, suggests practices that contradict the idea of an open and accessible public sphere. Community broadcasting organizations regulate access to their media assets through a combination of formal and informal structures. This suggests that the public sphere can be understood as a resource, and that community broadcasting organizations can be analysed as ‘commons regimes’. This approach reveals a fundamental paradox inherent in the public sphere: access, participation and the quality of discourse in the public sphere are connected to its enclosure, which limits membership and participation through a system of rules and norms that govern the conduct of a group. By accepting the view that a public sphere is governed by property rights, it follows that an open and universally accessible public sphere is neither possible nor desirable.
Keyword access
commons
participation
radio
third sector
Q-Index Code C1

 
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