Chapter 28: Informing the public sphere: Walter Lippmann on democracy and news, with a coda on Jurgen Habermas
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Walter Lippmann's (1889-1974) government and military experiences during the First World War convinced him that both democracy and the free press are far more fragile than Enlightenment-based democratic theories maintained. An experienced journalist with training in philosophy, Lippmann diagnosed the deficits of the press as both epistemological and structural. Lippmann's reformist agenda sought to ameliorate some of journalism's deficits. Many of his reforms were adopted; however, his diagnosis and philosophical analysis of the intractability of the problem of liberty and the news was often lost in the process. This has led to an under-appreciation of Lippmann's contributions to the study of the democratic public sphere and to the affinities they share with contemporary public sphere research of Jurgen Habermas (1929-). This chapter identifies some of those affinities, which remain largely unexamined, and affirms their continuing relevance to current crises of democracies.

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