Economic Inequality| Citizen Detriment: Communications, Inequality and Social Order

Peter Golding


Citizenship is an active role, requiring information to enable people to deliberate and arrive at decisions that they can then effectively voice. This article argues that the cumulative evidence of research is that mainstream media fail to provide such information and the essential analysis to buttress it. The result is information detriment, a significant element within a broader citizen detriment. This problem is only minimally addressed by the proliferation of information accessible through the widening availability of online and digital resources. Deepening inequality is translated into citizen detriment because of the growing cost of information resources. Evidence is provided of the significant advantages of the better off in an increasingly commercial and costly information environment, both as consumers of information and through lobbying, as sources of ideas and information in the political and public arena. The fundamental problem at the heart of this issue, therefore, is that of growing material inequality more than media and communication practice and policy.


inequality, communications, citizenship, digital divide, information

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