Media and Democracy: The Long View

Issue Date October 2012
Volume 23
Issue 4
Page Numbers 62-73
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We are living in the midst of a communications revolution that is likely to have significant effects on democracy. Though it is too soon to know where this revolution will lead, it is an opportune moment for a broader historical inquiry into the relationship between democracy and the media. Representative democracy was born in the era of print media, but over the past century it has accommodated the rise of broadcasting and now is being shaped by new communications technologies. As a result, we seem to be heading toward a more pluralistic but also more fragmented media environment that may pose a threat to the shared civic arena essential to democracy.

About the Author

Marc F. Plattner is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Board of Directors. He was on the NED staff from 1984 until 2020, serving first as the director of the grants program. In 1989, he became founding coeditor (with Larry Diamond) of the Journal of Democracy. He later served as codirector of the International Forum for Democratic Studies and as NED’s vice-president for research and studies.

View all work by Marc F. Plattner