'Mass communication has existed for little more than the average person's lifespan, and yet in that short time we have moved from what now seems the most basic form of radio communication.... to the apparent sophistication of digital broadcasting' (Street, 2001:163). We have yet to experience the entire consequences of these latest developments, but we can be sure that in the near future people will look at our new system of communication as being as primitive as we now regard radio. 'It will not just be the technologies that change, it will be the way in which people relate to these new forms of communication.' (Street, 2001:163) The Internet in particular has provided an almost complete renewal of the public sphere and in turn, extended many democratic processes.
This essay will explore the notion of the public sphere and how it has been altered with particular reference to the Internet.
The main focus will be on how the Internet has enabled everyday people to have their voices heard in a new way, through such 'online communities', and how this new communication form eliminates various boundaries, such as time, and geography.
Old media, or previous media forms including broadcast and print, will also be explored in order to demonstrate how the Internet is revolutionizing media today, and it's role as a public communication tool. With these issues at hand, the essay will then proceed to explore how this so-called renewal of the public sphere will and has already affected democratic processes, by looking at issues such as inter-communication between nations, as well as the anti-globalisation protests that have been held across the globe in the past.
Communication is the process of transmitting and receiving ideas, information, and messages. The rapid transmission of information over long distances and ready access to...