Media-citizen reciprocity as a moral mandate

Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19 (3 & 4):191 – 206 (2004)
A participatory democracy necessarily minimizes legal restraints on its citizens, substituting, for the common good, moral obligations to contribute with their activities. This article argues that a democratic society is endangered unless both media and citizens accept reciprocal moral obligations related to the distribution and use of information. Journalists are expected to facilitate distribution of information and engage citizens usefully in the knowledge process, fueling the participatory engine that drives a democracy. Citizens, in return, have a reciprocal obligation to expose themselves to useful information, respond publicly, tolerate (and even encourage) diversity, and protect media autonomy
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