Chapters 3, 4

Letters of the editor as a public forum is speculated from many different angles in chapters 3 and 4. The audience of the letters for the most part hasn’t changed from the older, well-educated and financially comfortable man. The editor’s gateway for the letters section is always speculated for holding precedence to the newspaper’s agenda. This is the homogenized aspect of the letters section. The more specialized and democratic aspect is emphasized in the chapter’s continual reference to the letters section as the last public forum and the one section that readers pay special attention to. It’s peculiar that in debating restricted versus open debate, the book places the letters section under undrestriced as long as the letters pertain to recent events. The letters section can hardly be considered unrestricted as long as editors are picking and choosing from a pile of letters from the narrow demographic of writers. The book clearly throws perspectives from all angles into the text. It’s your choice as to which criticism is more valuable. Philosopher Habermas and Wahl-Jorgensen are quoted below putting the letters section on a democratic pedestal in the face of talk-show text-ins and radio call-ins.

“Despite significant developments in the nature of public discourse and technologies of mediated public participation, the letters to the editor section continues to be one of a few places where the ‘society as a whole fashions a knowledge of itself”.

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