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Media Education and the Practice of Democracy

. MedienPädagogik: Zeitschrift für Theorie und Praxis der Medienbildung (February 2006)

Abstract

They do say that all ideas have their time, and in media education it seems that it is the time for democracy. Books and papers begin to appear and there are conferences with democracy in their titles to replace a focus on the postmodern, or identity. There seems to be a general consensus that democracy is a ‹good thing›. But, as with most other significant terms which hold centre stage for a while, they need to be interrogated with some care. For some more critical educators democracy takes its place alongside Gandhi’s comment when asked about Western Civilisation – he said it would be a good idea. The ‹practice› of democracy takes on a poignant, ironic, desperate or cynical cloak in the light of recent world events and the rise of terrorism as a political weapon. It depends where you stand. Democracy is not something that thrills the hearts and minds of the vast majority of citizens who live in nations who declare themselves to be democratic. Apathy and cynicism work together against democratic growth. But so do governments whose declared democratic aims pay scant attention to the people they are supposed to represent. And then there are the ‹democratic› exercises which supposedly involve the people in a conversation (‹we are listening› they say) which results in the status quo being implemented by politicians with morally superior physiognomies. After all, they say, we did ask your opinions. We did ask you to participate. And so democracy staggers from crisis to disaster...

Links and resources

DOI:
10.21240/mpaed/00/2006.02.21.X
URL:
BibTeX key:
ferguson_media_2006
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