Media and Justice: A New Framework
Professor Amit Schejter (Penn State University, USA / Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) will present as part of the Mediating Care and Justice Research Seminar Series presented by the Communication Department and Co-Sponsored by the Journalism Department, School of Public Policy, and SBS.
Media policy issues of the second decade of the 21st century are taking place within the same utilitarian paradigm that has traditionally characterized media policy making in the 20th century. However, the argument presented in this talk is that communication policy should be based on an adaptation of the distributive justice philosophies of John Rawls and Amartya Sen to the contemporary media environment. Indeed, contemporary media differ from the mass media of previous generations along four major characteristics: abundance of content and channels, mobility, interactivity, and multimediality. Since these characteristics change the nature of media and provide individuals with the potential to engage in what Castells has dubbed as ‘mass self-communications,’ policy discussion should turn from targeting the aggregate and focus on developing the individual. This approach requires that policy is designed in a way that serves equality without which the basic freedoms lose much of their meaning. This public lecture calls for a conceptual leap from focusing on ‘freedom’ to focusing on ‘equality’ and from emphasizing ‘liberty’ to concentrating on ‘capability’.