The Public Sphere Essay

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The Public sphere The public sphere is the arena where citizens come together to exchange opinions regarding public affairs, discuss and eventually form public opinion. This arena can be a specific place where citizens gather like a town hall or can also be a communication infrastructure through which citizens send and receive information and opinions. The public sphere is a central aspect of good governance. Without a functioning and democratic public sphere, government officials cannot be held accountable for their actions, and citizens will not be able to assert any influence over political decisions. The public sphere offers free flows of information, freedom to express and to debate. The ideal public sphere is truly participatory and the best protection against abuse of power. Originally the public sphere was a specific meeting place however with the development of media and communication technology the character of the public sphere has changed from a location to a communication network. Jurgen Habermas, a German sociologist defines the public sphere as a network for communicating information and points of view. Public sphere is a place where citizens come together to share information, to debate, to discuss on common concerns. Until the invention of the printing press, citizens came together in a particular space where they use to discuss with other people however the development of mass communication has changed the nature of the public sphere from a physical space to a communication structure. Today people can get in touch through telephone or the internet, and they can find out about what other people think by reading a newspaper editorial or by watching local television news. Therefore today’s public sphere goes beyond space and includes all channels of communications through which citizens can send and receive information. However a public
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