The Public Sphere

Issues are always up for debate in this new age of technology, as audiences and users we are constantly exposed to the issues that are present in our society regardless of whether you read the news anymore. This discussion can be described as the public sphere:

One of the current issues in the media is the issue of gay rights  and the debate for
023.jpgwhether or not we as a society have evolved to accept all different types of people and whether the traditional values should be challenged in order to make way for the ‘new age’. This issue has massively contributed to the debate in the public sphere and has the potential to harm or strengthen democracy. We as a society have begun to question and contribute to the discussions happening on and offline, and as we have come into an age where almost anyone can contribute what they think to online discussions forums, we have now got access to a large range of positive and negative content on all topics. In a technologically driven society, we are constantly developing solutions to issues and problems but we also generate more issues and problems, because more people are able to voice their opinions online. The debate for gay rights is a great example for how the debate has changed for issues with the introduction of new medias. For instance, many gay people have found it difficult to come out about their sexuality because they believe they were part of a very niche group of individuals and would be criticized harshly for who they were as people. But with the introduction of the technological public sphere, each individual could express who they were without being attacked for it in their direct personal lives. So in turn, the media has played a massive role in making the debate for gay rights possible. Now I’m not here to tell you my stance of gay rights, I’m only trying to portray the ideology of the public sphere and how issues are discussed within it. As well as how that space has dramatically changed over time but its idea remains relevant.

This kind of issue content in different media texts sparks massive amounts of debate in the public sphere because people are provoked into interacting and can easily become actively involved in the debate about the issue because the public sphere has become so broad and accessible. You as an individual could post your thoughts on the issues with this topic on Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, youtube, Instagram, Reddit, etc. And then you have contributed to the debate. The public sphere has changed, we not longer have to meet face to face in a coffee shop to discuss our issues presented in texts like the news, we can now just open our phones, type a sentence and then it’s there on the internet for billions of people to interact with.

Here are some examples of media texts discussion of gay marriage and what’s happening in the public sphere.Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.19.42 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.18.30 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.19.01 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-03 at 8.24.48 PM.png

The debate is everywhere and that’s why it has gained a traction in the media and legal stances because everyone can talk about it. This issue has saturated the market and therefore politics have been forced to become involved in the public sphere and respond to the wants and needs of each individual. The public sphere has become a sort of bully if enough content and discussion is produced something has to be done about the issue at hand or the producers can become aggressive and persistent.

In summary, the public sphere is a place where individuals can voice their opinions about different issues, such as gay marriage. But the public sphere theory is constantly evolving so we have to evolve with it and constantly challenge what issues are being presented and where they are being presented and the effect that is could have on us and society.

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