Friday, 12 October 2007

The Public Sphere

Jason's Lecture - 10/10/07

UCF Journalism teacher Jason Whittaker exercised his knowledge on Wednesday, explaining to first year students the rise of the world of Journalism and the Public Sphere.

Beginning with the approaches to the political economy as a basis, Jason spoke in depth about both the Liberal and Marxist way of thinking, before going introducing Habermas and his theory of the Public Sphere.

Taking an indepth look at the emergence of Journalism, Jason spoke the important role trade took in the occurance of the network of community information that would later be known as the Public Sphere.

In short, as world of trade went international in the 16th century, more and more money was being spent and ultimately being put at risk. Traders wanted to obtain the knowledge, for example, of where a ship was and when a certain ship was getting into port. People picked up on this, and became aware that gossip from coffee houses and pubs was worth money. Printing it and selling it could give an income.

News and publications then evolved from writings about commerce to the world of fashion and taste. Journals such as "The Spectator" taught men how to behave as gentlemen: this was the birth of journalism.

Overall, Jason's extensive knowledge of nearly everything was quite inspiring, and at the same time reassured the listening students with a "we're in safe hands" type of feel. This seemed to be the general consensus around the lecture room after the talk had ended.

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