Internet media as the digital public sphere: Possibilities and problems
Keywords:digital public sphere, civil deliberation, citizens’ online discourse, digital exclusion, relative anonymity of online discourse
This article tries to diagnose possibilities and limitations of the online media as a digital agora — a virtual space for citizens’ deliberation which could potentially strengthen and enhance democracy in Poland, as well as in other Central European countries. Considering the key features of the public sphere indicated by Habermas inclusiveness, rationality, autonomy, lack of hierarchy, the analysis focuses on three problem areas. Th e fi rst one includes the impact of digital exclusion upon availability of the digital public sphere for citizens. The second part of the study is devoted to rationality and interactivity of online discourse. The last part of the analysis addresses the impact of the relative anonymity of online communication on the equality and autonomy of citizens’ deliberation on the internet.
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