Calling on Jefferson: the 'custodiary' as the fourth estate in the Democratic Project

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Kakabadse, A, Kakabadse, N, Kouzmin, A & Kalu, N 2010, ‘Calling on Jefferson: the “custodiary” as the fourth estate in the Democratic Project’, Contemporary Politics, vol.16, no. 3, pp. 279-299.

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Aimed at reinforcing the democratic values of freedom of speech and increased diversity in civic access to the means of communication, this paper examines the concept of democracy within an information and communication technology-mediated context. Discussion proceeds with an analysis of orthodox views adopted by Jefferson and the architects of the American Constitution. Building on the Jeffersonian tradition, a critique is presented of present-day, non-transparent constraints on the democratic values of freedom of speech, information access and the structural constrains mitigating unfettered public access to critical information and debate on fundamental social and political issues of the day. The proposed 'custodiary' model for the new Democratic Project is premised on the development of a constitutional framework which encourages information diversity and freedom of access and expression as a way of bringing back 'discourse' into democratic praxis.

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