Welcome To The Coffee Shop

Central_PerkThe public sphere is seen as a vital part of media and communications; it has created a ‘coffee shop’ for ideas to circulate, in which citizens would debate on common concerns throughout society, challenging ideologies.

However, in today’s society the public sphere has become more meditated with the increasing use technology. People are now taking the ‘coffee shop’ to the world of binary, using media and its platforms to debate upon concerns and issues. Due to this shift, it’s changed the way we look and value particular issues circling today’s society. Creating more controversy on whether issues can be seen as trivial or commercial.

There are many campaigns, which have been trivialised, and commericalised through the use of media coverage that in turn has changed the way we empathise with these issues. It is through more open media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube that have created a wider spread communication amongst the audience in attempts to mediate the public sphere.

The HeForShe campaign looks to create equality for both men and women.

This campaign highlights the strength of the mediated public sphere, ultlising Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to create a following for its cause reaching a mass audience. The HeForShe Campaign has used the face of well-known actress Emma Watson, which reaches an even wider audience given her stature within the public sphere. But having the access to the information on the campaign at our finger tips through such well established media platforms, has meant its issues has reached the public sphere on a new level. As can be seen through the YouTube videos below, but also through this article, which strikes further debate into the campaign, further alliterating the wider audience, which each media platform has created.

It is said that social media is a powerful tool and has a great deal of effect on everything we do at every stage of our lives. But it can also be an indicator to what we see relevant and worthwhile to discuss and debate upon within the ‘coffee shop’. It is something that gets converted into either being trivial or commercial. We’ve seen a campaign that could be considered as commercial but what makes an issue trivial?

An example can be seen through the recent announcement of One Direction’s Zayn Malik was to leave the popular hit group in order to lead a “normal life”. This is a perfect representation of a trivial issue, this was created through the mediated public sphere, being blown-up and commercialised before anyone had anytime to notice what was even going on. There was a ridiculous amount of media time dedicated to this story, a story that had little worth within the public sphere but had made its way to the centre through its mediation.

The strong influence of social media has changed the way we look at the public sphere, creating a divide in what we believe is commercial and trivial.


Turnbull, S, 2015, ‘BCM110’, Lecture 5, Media Mythbusting: Big Brother is Watching You, University of Wollongong, delivered March 31 2015

HeForShe, 2014, HeForShe Campaign Video, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZptgM-jhZo>

Karim M, 2014, He for she, TNS – The News on Sunday, <http://tns.thenews.com.pk/he-for-she-un-campaign-for-gender-equality/#.VS-ZO6X6lfN>

HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Coversation With Emma Watson On March 8th, 2015 (ANNOUNCENMENT), YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzz0N9lTw8c>

HeForShe, 2015, HeForShe Conversation With Emma Watson on Internatioon Women’s Day 2015, YouTube <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ-2qkgJ0Xk>

Fahy, C, 2015, Hysterical One Direction fans spark self-harming fears as disturbing hashtag trends on Twitter after Malik quits, The Daily Mail Online, <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3011449/Hysterical-One-Direction-fans-spark-concerns-self-harming-disturbing-hashtag-trends-Twitter-Malik-quits-chart-topping-boyband.html>

Brooks, D 2010, ‘Riders on the Storm’, The New York Times, 4th February, p.21.


5 thoughts on “Welcome To The Coffee Shop

  1. Hi Binaisha,
    Your blog post explaining the public sphere was interesting to read, when looking at the different sides of a mediated public sphere. I liked the example of considering the He For She Campaign, when discussing the positives of a “commercial” side of the public sphere. Suggesting to us that social media has and still is a huge part or as you say “highlights the strength” of a mediated public sphere in our society when discussing and debating information within a mass audience. By giving your readers the ability to watch videos taken and broadcasted from YouTube, it strengthens your argument especially when you give us another example of news in a public sphere.
    It was a great idea to give us the example of what is considered trivial in a mediated public sphere. The announcement of One Direction, Zayn Malik leaving was a good choice when comparing the debate and discussion resolved around the He for She Campaign

    On another note it would have been great to see some referencing or links to other articles on this topic that could further your points and further the interest of the reader: Here are some that may be of interest to you
    1. http://fuchs.uti.at/wp-content/smchapter8.pdf
    2. http://tns.thenews.com.pk/he-for-she-un-campaign-for-gender-equality/#.VSeJpVaNLrE
    3. Brooks, D 2010, ‘Riders on the Storm’, The New York Times, 4th February, p.21.
    But all in all very interesting to read and to think about, well done.
    Regards Chelsea

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Chelsea for the extra information, it was a great read and I shall definitely be putting into my blog post for others to read. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and it gave some new point to take back and consider. =)


  2. Great blog post on the Public Sphere – It is quite amazing to see and read about how strong the influence of social media is on society of recent times. While social media allows us new, quick access to news and important information, it is still drastically changing our lives. Using the He For She Campaign in your post was a great way to highlight the strength of the mediated public sphere, as I know that I saw it several time on my Facebook News feed during the week of the event. While not all of us will always agree, the mediated public sphere is a great way to hear other opinions and voice your own on issues that matter to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A very interesting article, with clearly articulated points and examples relevant to your overall opinion on the mediated public sphere. In one section you made the distinction between “commercial” and “trivial” examples within the public sphere. While I understand your intention, it is important to note that commercial examples can also be trivial. Take for example the Kony 2012 saga, which caused a media storm before anyone truly took time to process what the movement was actually for, and what it meant. Here is an article that further expresses that view, that you might find interesting:

    Having said this, your inclusion of contemporary examples in the mediated public sphere, such as the HeForShe campaign and your incorporation of YouTube clips to help emphasise your opinion, was very effective and allowed me to understand and appreciate your perspective. A very well written and well informed piece of writing, that helped me expand upon my knowledge of the topic.


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