I've just read an interesting interview with Seyla Benhabib on the subject of 'the Public Sphere, Deliberation, Journalism and Dignity' (thanks to Christopher Ro for the link). Amongst other things, Benhabib talks about how the growth of the blogosphere and online media in general is either helping or hindering democratic deliberation. She concludes that journalism
'is also about creating the enlarged mentality, by teaching us to see from the standpoint of others, even when we do not agree with them. We extend the boundaries of our sympathy by understanding the conditions of others who may be radically different than us. At its best journalism does this; it extends your vision of the world by making you see the world thought the eyes of the others. It informs you, as well as stretching your empathy across time and space. The best kind of journalism has this capacity of uniting the dignity of the generalised other with empathy for the concrete other.'