Understanding the function and health of contemporary political systems requires an appreciation of the media's role in general, and of the most influential form of mass media in particular: television. In his broad-ranging text, Television and the Public Sphere, Peter Dahlgren both clarifies the underlying theoretical concepts of civil society and the public sphere and relates these to a critical analysis of the practice of television as journalism, as information, and as entertainment. Dahlgren demonstrates the limits and the possibilities of television and the formats of popular journalism and connects these to the audience's potential to interpret, resist, or construct its own meanings. What does a realistic understanding of television's functions and capabilities imply for people and democracy in a mediated age?
Relating social and cultural theory of mediated societies to the actual realities of televised communication, Television and the Public Sphere is essential reading for scholars and students in media and communication studies, sociology, and politics of the media.