DEMOCRACY IN PERIL: WHY WE NEED PUBLIC MEDIA AND CRITICAL MEDIA LITERACY

HENRY  GIROUX

In a recent interview with Mickey Huff of Project Censored, prominent Canadian public intellectual Henry Giroux remarks how difficult it has been over the years for him to discuss his ideas via American broadcast media, including PBS and NPR. Noam Chomsky and Ralph Nader, two prominent American commentators with critical political perspectives, how have made similar comments for decades.

All of them articulate the pernicious effect of corporate domination of the media and the undermining of public education which has left American citizens vulnerable to feelings of isolation, fear and authoritarian control. What Henry Giroux, in particular, has long argued is that civic education is essential to democracy, and requires a robust public sphere not dominated by commercial interests, a major theme of the Media Stewards Project.

In a program addressing The Truth About Post-Truth, Paul Kennedy of CBC Radio interviews Giroux, who is a professor of English and cultural studies at McMaster University; Jason Stanely, a professor of philosophy at Yale University; and Kathleen Higgins, a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Together they make a solid intellectual case for the critical role educated citizens must play if democracy is to avoid slipping into authoritarianism.

The need for a robust public service media system and universal critical media education, neither of which we have, has never been more apparent. Giroux’s latest books, “America at War with Itself” and the forthcoming “The Public in Peril: Trump and the Menace of American Authoritarianism,” further strengthen the case for both.

 

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