Is there still a 'crisis in public communication' (if there ever was one)? the UK experience

Ivor Gaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article takes a considered look at the debates surrounding the notion of 'the crisis in political communications' as it applies, in particular, to the United Kingdom. The article begins by seeking to make the Habermasian notion of the public sphere relevant to contemporary political communications in the United Kingdom. It then goes on to detail the evolution of the argument that there is a crisis, by tracing it, mainly but not exclusively, through the works of Jay Blumler and his collaborators. It places these arguments within the context of the changes in the relations between politicians and the media as set out by both scholars and through the author's reflections on his own professional practice. The article suggests that despite what some have described as a deterioration in the political communications system, the dramatic changes that have been, and are, taking place in the increasingly digital public sphere, an argument can be sustained that we are moving into a period when, because the public (or its online component) have greater access to political information and debate, the crisis, if it ever existed in the first place, is passing and we are now moving towards an enhanced and healthier digital public sphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-651
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


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