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Free Content The Press as a Consultative Forum: A Contribution to Normative Press Theory

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The contemporary press has, in many countries, evolved into a discursive battlefield characterized by a war of words and images. Against this backdrop, some normative theorists of the press assert the need for alternative models of journalistic practice in which the press serves as a forum for more thoughtful and constructive processes of democratic deliberation. As a contribution to the field of normative press theory, this paper articulates a model of the press that derives from the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. At the core of this model are the principles and objectives of consultation, which is a collective decision-making process that Baha'is employ. This paper explores elements of this normative model of the press, which are scattered throughout a wide range of primary Baha'i texts, in order to bring the model into clearer focus. The purpose of the paper is to highlight the heuristic value of the model for press theorists and practitioners, inside and outside the Baha'i community.

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Keywords: consultation; journalism; normative press theory; public sphere

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Western Washington University.

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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