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Analysis of the Role of Media in Society Considering the Idea of the Public Sphere In 1960s German philosopher Jurgen Habermas posed the public sphere theory The public sphere means a realm of our social life in which something approaching public opinion can be formed Access is guaranteed to all citizensHabermas 1964 p49 The public sphere theory helps understand the role of mass media in contemporary society The public sphere as a sphere which mediates between society and state in which the public organizes itself as the bearer or public opinion accords with the principle of the public sphere Habermas 1964 p50 Media also provide for the public a space to express their opinions According to McGuigan1998 the ideal of a domestic system of mass communication can be called the public spherep91 In this sense media have the similar functions with the public sphere in the society The principle of the public sphere also affects media As public communication lies at the heart of the democratic process Garnham 1986 p37 the political influences are no doubt included in the principle Media contents are influenced by the government so media only provide limit space for the audience to express their views The Newspaper as the first medium capable of reaching a mass audience Ward 1989 p21 emerged for engendering political responses to the social and economic problems Ward 1989 p21 Hence media have strong relationship with politics from the beginning It is clear that media are not designed against governments even many critical features often appear in them They just convince people one party can serve them better than the present discredited party BBC News Online 2003 Thus governments and political parties always have to influence media for support and once governments and political parties involve in media the information that audience can receive will be constrained and their ideas will be limited Thus the topics they discuss will be limited in the information
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