Rethinking Media Pluralism

Rethinking Media Pluralism

Kari Karppinen

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780823245123

Publisher: Fordham University Press


In this book, the author argues that media pluralism needs to be rescued from its depoliticized uses and re-imagined more broadly as a normative value that refers to the distribution of communicative power in the public sphere. It notes that access to a broad range of different political views and cultural expressions is often regarded as a self-evident value in both theoretical and political debates on media and democracy. While this pluralism is commonly accepted as a guiding principle of media policy, the book argues that opinions on the meaning and nature of media pluralism vary widely, and that definitions of it can easily be adjusted to suit different political purposes. It contends that the notions of media pluralism and diversity have been reduced to empty catchphrases or that they have been conflated with consumer choice and market competition. This has left key questions about social and political values, democracy and citizenship unexamined. The book argues that, instead of something that is simply measured through the number of media outlets available, media pluralism should be understood in terms of its ability to challenge inequalities and create a more democratic public sphere.