PhD defence

Mind the Gap: Newspapers as a Forum for Democratic Public Debate on Food Production

Summary

News media, and newspapers in particular, are tasked with providing the forum and substance necessary to support healthy public debate, and to provide a mechanism for public accountability. These expectations are articulated as the normative core of the journalistic profession and act as benchmarks for good journalism; and it is on account of these functions that privileges and protections are afforded to the press to ensure it can fulfil these tasks. But are newspapers living up to these expectations? This dissertation presents an investigation into the extent to which these core normative expectations about the role of news media in democratic public debate materialise in journalistic output in ways that support the kind of public debates necessary to identify and tackle complex societal challenges, such as those linked to global food production, and support processes of accountability.