Integration, Diversity and the Making of a European Public Sphere
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Integration, Diversity and the Making of a European Public Sphere

Edited by Hakan G. Sicakkan

Based on an extended agonistic pluralism perspective, this book offers a novel notion of a transnational public sphere that goes beyond the questions of whether a European public sphere exists or is possible and instead provides a solid understanding of its key features.
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Chapter 3: European media policies and the European public sphere

Monika Mokre

Abstract

European media policies can be understood as attempts to create a vertical trans-European space linking national constituencies with the EU. Their history shows (1) a clear focus on the removal of market distortions as a general trait; (2) a politicization of these debates understanding media as a precondition of a European identity, a European public sphere and, thus, European democracy in the 1980s; and (3) a considerable loss of ambition since the failure of Europa TV continuing up to now. Summarizing, one can state that EU media policies have proven successful in reducing national barriers for broadcasting and establishing a single European media market, but they did not succeed in providing centralized forms of information distribution and exchange. The empirical results of the Eurosphere project have shown a possible alternative to this centralized approach in transnational exchange of news and the attempts of journalists to include a European dimension in media coverage. In the long run, this could lead to agonistic European public spheres not exclusively structured by national cleavages. The chapter recommends financial support for such activities in mass media as well as in digital media and, especially, for media of transnational minorities in the EU. The focus here should lie not in promoting the successes of European integration but, rather, in furthering agonistic European discourses.

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