The traditional foundation of the placed reserved for the Fourth Estate in democratic practice is under pressure. To revitalize this idea, a focus upon how journalists handle silence professionally is suggested. It is argued that it is important to bring out how the handling of silence is carried out, and to understand that silence is not only something to be avoided. Silence is of foundational importance for communicative significance to emerge. In a reading of Deleuze, Heidegger and Derrida, we argue for a model in which silence is necessary for significant communicative exchanges. We avoid thoughtlessness by allotting a function to silence; for communication requires not just information but a channel of silence, so to speak. It is, finally, argued that it is important not to expect the revealed forms of silence to be problematic. It is demonstrated that certain forms of silence can be analysed as democracy enhancing because they permit less heated exchanges that make room for thoughtful contemplation.
- Medier, kommunikation og sprog