The public sphere was created in the 18th century and continues to be around to this day. It is a place where people can come together and discuss matters important to them. However, over time this ‘place’ is no longer a physical setting but is now is in fact found online, transforming it into a ‘mediated public sphere’. Society’s access to advancing technologies have manipulated where we can find the public sphere permitting its users better accessibility. The increased role of the public sphere within social media also allows a greater audience and a greater number of participants influencing the shift from how the media impacts its users to how the users impact the media.
Examples of medias that convey the public sphere include television, radio, film, magazines/newspapers and social media. Until recently, television networks have twisted the way in which we can participate in the mediated public sphere. Using twitter and the certain ‘#hashtags’, popular television shows such as ‘The Block’ and ‘My Kitchen Rules’ empower the audience by letting them voice their personal opinions and beliefs onto live television. By presenting a selection of both positive and negative tweets, we are exposed to numerous thoughts. The audience’s involvement within the television program helps promote the easy and accessible way in which they can be a part of the show and have their voice heard. By combining these two mediums we are given a perfect example of how overtime the advancements in technology have expanded the way in which society can interact within the mediated public sphere. The popular television program ‘Talkin’ Bout Your Generation’ is another example of a public sphere. It was a show where three teams of two would come together to test and discuss popular culture knowledge. Each group represented a different cultural generation- the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y. In a way, the show voiced society members and expressed a variety of values and beliefs. Through televising the program, the audience were exposed to numerous issues both from past and present that were expressed in a humorous manner differing from what we may see on the news or other medias. The show acted as a platform where the public sphere could take place and present itself to an audience.
Overtime the public sphere has been altered due to the advancements in our technology and the influence of mass media. It is now a ‘place’ where the public can come together and discuss issues they feel important to them. It is now more accessible than ever and allows us to be exposed to a number of people’s beliefs, opinions and thoughts. Mass media has allowed us to participate in the exploration of topics we feel open to and has transformed today’s society into an active one. This newly adapted ‘mediated public sphere’ introduces us to more ideas than ever creating a world we can truly communicate in.
Christopher Neal, 25 April 2012, The Public Sphere and New Media, Social Media Today, viewed 12 April 2015,
Shaun Micallef Online, 2011, Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, shaunmicallefonline.com, viewed 13 April 2015