According to Jurgen Habermas the concepts of media, free press, public opinion, critical debates, personal liberty, liberalism and democracy have all emerged from the 17th-18th century bourgeoise ‘public spheres’ such as Coffee Houses in London and Salons in Paris. The public spheres were open spaces where anybody could enter irrespective of their class and background as long as they could afford a coffee. These spaces were free from the control of both the Church and the Government or Monarch and people’s views were listened and valued not according to their wealth or aristocracy but the power of their reason and rationality. These spaces became the platform for Enlightenment philosophers to propagate values of scientific temperament, reason, rationality and liberalism and that eventually led to French Revolution and then formation of nation states, constitutions democracy and so on. That is why, media is called the fourth estate of democracy because without people gathering at one space and using free speech to critically debate over an issue of public importance and forming public opinion there would have been no birth of democracy, and if we lose these elements we would lose democracy. As we can see how both media and democracy are eroding in India.
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