Public Service Media| Active Pluralism: Dialogue and Engagement as Basic Media Policy Principles

Thomas Gibbons


Although pluralism is widely accepted as a basic characteristic of democratic media, its manifestation in media pluralism policy is generally characterized by a passive approach to dialogue and engagement. Media pluralism policy is typically focused on the mere availability of information resources, and it usually stops short of contemplating how those resources can be created or how they are to be used, even though the underlying assumption is that they will in fact be deployed to the benefit of democratic understanding and decision making. This article examines some normative inferences from theories of political pluralism, and their implications for transforming such a passive form of media pluralism policy to one that is explicitly more active, and analyzes a series of relevant policy measures. It is suggested that such measures should have a much more significant role in liberal democratic media policy to counter increasing trends for new forms of media activity to become more fragmented and yet more narrow.


pluralism, media pluralism, media diversity, media policy, public-service content

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