Citizenship and the Media:
Isolated in the New Century?


Lee B. Becker


It truly is an honor and a pleasure to be here today to participate in the celebration of the 100 years of publication of El Comercio.

I’m delighted as well to have this opportunity to speak on the topic: Media and Citizenship. I’m going to make my comments in the context of a specific issue in the United States, public support for the War in Iraq.

My thesis is simple. I believe support for the war has been and is based on misperceptions about the war and its justification. I believe those misperceptions illustrate a significant weakness of the communication system in our society. Specifically, I believe the misperceptions reflect a disconnection between the media and the citizens of our society.

I also believe there is reason to worry that changes taking place in the media landscape in the United States make it more likely–not less likely–that the media system will be even more disconnected from the citizenry in the future.

Full copyrighted text available here.