Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work




Sears, Alan,




Combining the ideas of past and present media theorists and critics from a variety of disciplines, the thesis traces the general evolution of the prevailing system of mainstream news media---from a subjective model that once served to empower portions of the bourgeois public sphere of 18 th and 19th century Europe to the current objective model that prevails within North America and much of Europe. The thesis then proceeds to briefly examine both the implications of the prevailing mature commercial ideology on a remaining public media system that is increasingly scrutinized through the lens of a dominant free market ideology, and the effects that the objective model of journalism has upon the general citizenry. To illustrate these 'dual' effects, the thesis focuses upon a comparative content analysis of New York Times and San Francisco Bay Guardian coverage regarding the relatively recent attempt at "mainstreaming" the programming at the five stations comprising the Pacifica Foundation---a US public news system founded more than fifty-years ago by pacifist Lewis Hill for the purpose of empowering local communities and groups through the subjective dissemination of information on a variety of issues. The thesis concludes with a renewed call for a responsible subjective journalism that would allow for the dissemination of myriad opinions concerning issues and events, and simultaneously allow for the creation of a newly-empowered public through a more inclusive public sphere that would facilitate the establishment of an 'ideal' democracy. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 43-01, page: 0011. Adviser: Alan Sears. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2004.