As Democracy Goes, So Does Journalism:
Evolution of Journalism in Liberal, Deliberative,
and Participatory Democracy
Seong Jae Min
Communication Studies, NYC
What is the central theme of your book?
This book explores the vital relationship between journalism and democracy in a historical narrative. Democracy as we know has changed a lot over the years and so has journalism. The roles, identities, and functions of journalism have become more flexible and widened in today’s participatory democracy.
What inspired you to write this book?
I used to work as a professional journalist in a couple of news organizations. I also worked as an independent citizen journalist. Doing so, I have seen numerous changes in journalism, which compelled me to think about the changing nature of journalism in society. Oh, I also have been teaching journalism classes at Pace, and the insightful discussion that I had with my students really encouraged me to articulate my thoughts in a book format.
Why is this book important in your field? What does it contribute to the current body of knowledge on its topic?
The existing literature in this area tends to take the conventional wisdom, idealizing the role of mainstream journalism in democracy. This book is unique in that it takes a rather provocative position demystifying the dominant model of the mainstream journalism and defending the controversial citizen and other alternative journalism practices. It also questions the dominant Western scholarship in journalism studies and argues that different conceptualizations of journalism and democracy are needed to accommodate cultural sensitivities of the globalized world. It can make a useful contribution to the field of journalism and political communication as it provides a bird’s eye view of journalism and democracy and asks readers to reconsider vital questions present in journalism today.
Tell me about a particularly special moment in writing this book.
The special and happiest moments in book writing are 1) when it was conceived, and 2) when it was finished. In the beginning, I got really excited about the new ideas that I wanted to write about; I was super happy to actually finish the book. The time in between was a constant struggle. Still, if there was a special moment in-between, it was when I had a chance to talk to journalists and researchers about their unique life experiences. I had too many coffees and beers in so doing.
What is the one thing you hope readers take away from your book?
People say journalism is critical in maintaining democracy. Is it? It may depend on contexts. I want the readers to think critically about the role of journalism in democracy
When did you join Dyson? September 2009