Introduction to Media History and Democracy

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Editorial | Open Access

Introduction to Media History and Democracy

  • David W. Park Department of Communication, Lake Forest College, USA

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Abstract:  This thematic issue of Media and Communication features articles that address the workings of democracy as understood through the lens of media history. The intersection of democracy and media history brings together two impossibly expansive terms, so expansive that the articles herein cannot provide any meaningful closure to the questions that even a cursory consideration of media history and democracy would provoke. Instead of closure, what these authors develop is a demonstration of the value of media history to our understandings of democracy. Historical methods of inquiry are necessary components for any meaningful understanding of media or democracy, and the authors gathered here work from a multi-hued palette of historiographical approaches. One finds in this issue a careful attention to how issues related to media history and democracy can be investigated through consideration of intellectual history, the history of political debates, journalism history, and the history of media organizations and institutions. These articles make a strong case for the continued relevance of media history to understanding the democracy and the media.

Keywords:  communication history; democracy; journalism; media; media history; public

Published:   9 February 2018


© David W. Park. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.