Internet media as the digital public sphere: Possibilities and problems
(University of Economics in Katowice, Poland)
ABSTRACT: This article tries to diagnose possibilities and limitations of the online media as a digital agora – a virtual space for citizens’ deliberation which could potentially strenghten and enhance democracy in Poland, as well as in other Central European countries. Considering the key features of the public sphere indicated by Habermas (inclusiveness, rationally, autonomy, lack of hierarchy), the analysis focuses on three problem areas. The first one includes the impact of digital exclusion upon avaiability of the digital public sphere for citizens. The second part of the study is devoted to rationalitly and interactivity of online discourse. The last part of the analysis adresses the impact of the relative anonymity of online communication on the equality and autonomy of citizens’ deliberation on the internet.