Author(s): Jesper Strmbck
The literature discussing the impact of media and journalism upon democracy, typically criticizes both media and journalism for their content and their negative effects on some aspects of democracy. In turn, this raises the question of identifying news standards by which the quality of news journalism might be evaluated. But neither the proposed news standards nor the criticism levelled against them specify with sufficient clarity the model of democracy to be used as a normative departure. This article argues that the question of proper news standards cannot be addressed in isolation from the question of different normative models of democracy. In order to discover news standards by which the quality of news journalism can or should be evaluated, it analyzes four normative models of democracy and their demands upon citizens: procedural democracy, competetive democracy, participatory democracy and deliberative democracy. Building upon that analysis, the article asks: What normative implications for media and news journalism follow from the distinctive perspectives of procedural, competitive, participatory and deliberative democracy?