Media pluralism: Divisive or democratic?
Throughout the world, media pluralism is considered essential to democracy. A pluralistic media -- marked by a variety of outlets with diverse ownership and viewpoints, independence and transparency -- is generally believed to contribute to a press that honors the ideals of democracy and reflects diversity within society.
Some, however, have argued against media pluralism, holding that diverse viewpoints in the media may actually serve to divide rather than unite a people.
In Iraq, for instance, where sectarian and religious divisions have fueled violence and war in recent years, media pluralism is dangerous, according to journalist Gary Gambill, whose recent article in the University of Missouri magazine Global Journalist debates the merits of the media pluralism that flourished with the democratization of Iraq.
What do you think? Is media pluralism necessary even if it reinforces divisions in society? Can media pluralism be a factor in destabilizing a country divided by sect, religion or ethnicity? What are the costs of a media climate lacking pluralism?