So in “the olden days” a public sphere was of a very simplified explanation, people talking (often turning to debate) about anything relevant at the time, positive or negative, even controversial. Back then there wasn’t ease in input, mostly due to stereotypical boundaries e.g. social class, but also because of the way in which they interacted (predominately verbally), but oh how times have changed! With the introduction of the new and improved mediated public sphere, thanks to the internet, anyone is free to say anything no matter where on earth they come from. A really relevant and rather recent instance, would be the fact that Donald Trump was running for president (spoiler alert: he won).
Boy were those hard times, not only because of the fact that DONALD TRUMP was RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?!, but the amount of “input” which was exerted everywhere online, when I say everywhere I mean EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t miss it, and aside from the endless memes (examples below), parodies and comedic interpretations, there was serious talk, interaction and debate on the issue and outcome.
During the election, everything Trump ate, wore, said and most importantly TWEETED was highly scrutinised and for good reason too. Lets just say the public sphere was going absolutely crazy for Donald Trump and for the majority, not in a good way. Many debates like the one below were broadcast on what you would call a mediated public sphere provided by a public service broadcaster. Q&A are a very organised example of freedom of expression, who usually provide a fair balance of opinions, but from the captions at the bottom of the screen which reveal the audiences majority answers to a question (based on the topic), it was not balanced in this case.
The Q&A known for its professional more tamed version of freedom of expression was nothing compared to social medias such as Twitter, where there was no holding back on opinion. Twitter is a much more widespread instance in which people can literally say whatever is on their mind, no matter where they are in the world, compared to the very localised, Q&A. In my opinion Twitter is the best depiction of the mediated public sphere in relation to the Donald Trump’s election saga, and the best part is, it still hasn’t stopped, take a look below: