Browsing by Organization "Department of Communication"

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  • Nieminen, Hannu (2008)
    The main argument in this article is that instead of attempting to establish the existence or the nonexistence of the European public sphere or public spheres, we could think of Europe as consisting of a multiplicity of networks, each having a public sphere or spheres of their own. The idea of seeing the public sphere from the point of view of networks is critical to the traditional Habermasian idea of conceiving the public sphere as something intrinsically restricted to national boundaries. The social and cultural networks operate in all areas of life. They have developed, transformed, and vastly expanded in time. It is difficult to make clear distinctions between different networks today as they can operate locally, nationally, trans-nationally, regionally, trans-regionally as well as globally. However, from the point of view of democratic theory it is still important to make a separation between these different spatial embodiments of the networks ! as they all indicate different modalities for democratic polities. Democracy needs to be thought differently on a local or national scale than on the trans-national or global scale. The idea of seeing the public sphere from the point of view of networks is critical to the traditional idea of conceiving the public sphere as something intrinsically restricted to national boundaries.
  • Nieminen, Hannu (Eduskunta, 2007)
    Käsittelen artikkelissani median sääntelyä informoidun kansalaisen näkökulmasta. Ensiksi tarkastelen demokratian ja median välistä pysyvää jännitettä. Seuraavaksi käsittelen murrosta median ja demokratian välisessä psykologisessa sopimuksessa. Lopuksi esittelen kansalaisten viestinnällisten oikeuksien käsitteen ja tarkastelen, miten sen avulla voitaisiin tarkentaa mediaa koskevan säädöspolitiikan tavoitteita. Yleisenä lähtökohtanani on, että toimivan demokratian edellytyksenä ovat hyvin informoidut ja yhteiskunnallisesti toimintakykyiset kansalaiset, ja että medialla on keskeinen rooli informoidun, toimintakykyisen kansalaisuuden tuottamisessa.
  • Nieminen, Hannu (2004)
    I am presently working on an analysis of the historical constitution of the national public sphere. The case in question, Finland, may constitute a special case in Europe as it was a “late moderniser”, but my presumption is that parallels can be drawn and applied to other countries too. My research question is: Despite more publicity and publicness today than ever before – why does the gap between decision makers and citizens continue to widen? Liberal democratic theory bases on the assumption that the public sphere acts as a mediator between decision makers and citizens, and that the best guarantee for a healthy and democratic public sphere are independent mass media and other public institutions. During the last decades and especially in the last ten years there has been a multiplication of channels promoting publicity and publicness, all pledged to promote freedom of speech and other democratic values. All the evidence, however, shows that both the decision makers’ distrust of citizens and the citizens’ distrust of decision makers have almost dramatically increased just in the years of the expansion of these new channels of publicity and publicness. I argue that the gap and its widening derive from the fact that the basic institutions of the national public sphere are so structurally preconditioned that they produce and reproduce hierarchical power relations between national elites and citizens. In order to explain these mechanisms we need better knowledge on the historical conditions of the formation of these institutions.
  • Nieminen, Hannu (Tartu University Press, 2007)
    The basic argument in this article is that the commercial logic followed in the European media and communication regulatory policies is in contradiction with the aim to open up and strengthen the European public sphere. It is my view that the basis of the EU media and communication policies should be re-defined, and for this purpose I will propose an approach to European media and communication regulation, which is based on the concept of citizens’ communication rights. Initially,I call my approach a proposal for a democratic regulatory framework for European media and communication.
  • Nieminen, Hannu (Tartu University Press, 2006)
    In recent research literature differing accounts of the European public sphere (EPS) have been offered. We can find at least four ways to understand the concept: 1 The EPS understood as an agora, as a space of critical debate and opinion formation which is open to all European citizens and has established structures and procedures; 2 The EPS understood as a special way of organizing relations between an individual and society, historically shaped and matured in Europe; 3 The EPS understood as distinct from national public spheres, consisting of all public debates and discussions which concern Europe and European issues; 4 The EPS understood empirically, consisting of all public representations that the European media produce. The second approach, which is perhaps best articulated by Charles Taylor, has been less discussed (Taylor, 1992, 2004). Although having a strong affinity to the ideals of deliberative democracy, it takes the debate to a more general level. According to Taylor his approach is based on a ‘cultural’ theory of modernity, in contrast to an ‘a-cultural’ one referring to an empiricist-positivist approach (Taylor, 1992). I will concentrate here only on the second or ‘cultural’ approach. Although I will adopt some of Charles Taylor’s conceptual and theoretical tools, I will apply them freely in building up my own theoretical framework.