Journalism and the Public - Newsroom Culture, Letter to the Editor and Democracy by Karin Wahl-Jorgensen
First off, this book is kinda dryyyyy. Not too fun.
Chapter 1 discussed the rise and fall of democratic participation, mostly blaming the concept of "liberal democracy" model for the public sphere. Instead Karin Whahl-Jorgensen suggested moving to the "deliberative democracy" model. Wahl-Jorgensen believes that letters to the editor already encompasses the deliberative model and that is the direction in which the public sphere should move. It all makes sense like she says, in order for society to truly be governed "by the people", the people must participate.
This also makes me think, in order for people to be satisfied with their government, they need to participate. Involvement with the government would breed a more careful eye and a more transparent vision of what actions they are taking and where the people's money is going.
It is mostly true that today there is far less participation in traditional political involvement. I can see my generation moving towards it though, it has taken time to realize the repercussions of being lazy about the political process. I can't claim to be heavily involved, though I wish I was. I do think the busy world and stress has a lot to do with the lack of it though. I often times feel too stressed about my potential journalism career and school to consider being involved in something else.
Chapter 2 discusses the historical significance of Letters to the Editor. As we learned in the Silence Dogood letters, these letters brought about new modes of thinking and discussion, even downright insulting remarks. But through this discussion, haven't we overcome a lot of these issue? Women are seemingly accepted as well as men since that time.
Yes, it is not written by professionals, but it is a chance for the publication to represent voices of the public that would not otherwise get the chance to be heard. Although I haven't yet participated in this (soon I will for our first project), I can remember always reading the letters in teen magazines thanking or criticizing the editors for past articles. It was interesting to see how differently the pieces could be perceived.