This article aims to illustrate how academic departments of communication can help contribute to a revitalized public sphere. Some of the projects to enhance participative democracy in order to show one direction in which the public sphere seems to be changing have been highlighted. Academic departments of speech communication can do much to accommodate this change by focusing more on the relationship between communication and democracy. This intention can be formally stated in university planning documents, course titles and outlines, general education guidelines, the establishment of research and consulting consortia, and in partnerships with external institutions. Benefits to the department include clarity of purpose, which can lead to collaboration within the department and with other departments, as well as enhanced educational and research agendas.
Hegstrom, T. G., & Spano, S. (1997). Providing focus on participatory democracy in academic departments of communication. Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 26(3), 180–189.