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Notes:
This article is provided as a free sample from the publishers of BSR. See www.ingentaconnect.com/content/intellect/bsr/2010/00000016/00000001/art00002. Also linked by permission to article online at author's website, myweb.wwu.edu/karlberg/publications.html.

The Press as a Consultative Forum:
A Contribution to Normative Press Theory

by Michael Karlberg

published in Bahá'í Studies Review, 16, pages 29-42
Bristol, UK: Intellect, Ltd., 2010-04
Abstract: The contemporary press has, in many countries, evolved into a discursive battlefield characterized by a war of words and images. Against this backdrop, some normative theorists of the press assert the need for alternative models of journalistic practice in which the press serves as a forum for more thoughtful and constructive processes of democratic deliberation. As a contribution to the field of normative press theory, this paper articulates a model of the press that derives from the teachings of the Bahá'í Faith. At the core of this model are the principles and objectives of consultation, which is a collective decision-making process that Bahá'ís employ. This paper explores elements of this normative model of the press, which are scattered throughout a wide range of primary Bahá'í texts, in order to bring the model into clearer focus. The purpose of the paper is to highlight the heuristic value of the model for press theorists and practitioners, inside and outside the Bahá'í community.

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