Public Sphere – Closed and Open Conversations

When initially grasping the understanding of what a ‘Public Sphere’ was, two groups or societies came to mind. One group consisted of close friends (micro), friends that I would debate with about the latest and trending topics. This public sphere is operated through social media groups such as a messenger chats or facebook pages. For example I have a messenger group chat with my school friends which allows us to remain in contact and share personal stories or news. My closed group messenger chat includes close friends who I would trust, excluding people who I don’t trust or don’t socialise with. Media is used for contact in this situation which both positively and negatively affects relationships and the way we socialise with each other. Sometimes stories and messages can be ‘lost in translation’ and personally I believe that it is at times a risky or even poor way of communicating with peers. In a way I prefer the old style of communication where friends would have to communicate in person and would have to make the effort to see each other. Don’t get me wrong, the ability to message a friend within seconds is amazing and definitely useful for everyday purposes.

The other group consists of a more national and sometimes global scale (macro). Both platforms, Facebook and Instagram, allow for an open discussion about topics which can be put up for debate. People who have the apps have the power to cause discussion and debate. However, Since Jurgen Habermas created his theory of the ‘Public Sphere’, the “ideal coffee shop” environment has at times turned toxic. The transformation of the way we read, watch and analyse media has meant that more people are able to provide an individualised opinion which can most definitely have negative effects on society and individuals. In this public sphere, anyone can be included and people who choose not to use the apps can exclude themselves. 

My example of a global topic which has caused debate is the recent discussion about a footballer who plays in the Italian league. He chose to celebrate negatively towards the opponents fanbase due to racist comments which were allegedly voiced by the fanbase. 

In a closed group, for example my group chat for my soccer team, anyone can provide their own opinion on his actions and have the right to voice their opinions on social media within its restrictions. The topic may also spark debate from previous events in time which have involved racism, not only in sport but in other aspects of life. 


The Guardian

Oxford Bibliographies


“Animals are not Clowns” – Complex Image

“Animals used in performances must be treated with respect, and not objectified, or subjected to indignity or ridicule.” – RSPCA

“Circuses. Elephantstigers, and other animals that circuses use to entertain audiences do not stand on their heads, jump through hoops, or balance on pedestals because they want to. They perform these and other difficult tricks because they’re afraid of what will happen if they don’t.” – PETA

In this generation, with the increase of media and technology, the treatment of animals has become a serious issue. Animals in this day and age are used for multiples purposes. Whether its for sport, food or in this case entertainment. 

For a while, the circus industry have had allegations towards them for their treatment of animals. Circus shows are constantly on the road, moving from city to city or even country to country. This means animals are constantly transported, sometimes in rugged and unstable cages, without a large consumption of food or water. 

“Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls for the crack of the whip against the animal’s stinging wounds”

The advertisement, created by two Portuguese animal rights organisations: Acção Animal and Liga Portuguesa dos Direitos do Animal (LDPA), shows a lion with face paint meaning that it is used for the circus. Yet depending on which perspective you see this image from it may differ from the original denotation. 

The denotation of “Animals are not clowns” literally means that animals are not meant to be treated like clowns. Yet the message may also connote another meaning. From my point of view, I see a lion who is imprisoned and exploited for the entertainment and leisure of people. The prison bars portray a tough and negative environment for the Lion enforcing the audience to immediately feel empathy, for not only the lions, but all the circus animals.  

Conversely, the point of view from a Child’s perspective may contrast to my and others perspective. Face paint growing up conveys positive connotations as it was a novelty to have your face painted, showing a child’s involvement or support towards a team, event etc. When young children attend circus shows they tend to disregard the bigger issues involving the animals. In the show, the animals may seem to be happy or joyful, yet be tormented and treated poorly behind the scenes. 

This issue portrayed in the advertisement allows for universal discussion in regards to the treatment of animals. Other aspects can be looked into further, for example the treatment of horses in horse racing or the treatment of greyhounds in greyhound racing. Yet as these two sports appear to be quite popular socially and financially, a discussion will most likely simmer down and be forgotten by most. 









I have loved sport since I was born, in particular cricket and soccer, it has always been a part of my life. Photography has never been a part of my life until a few years ago. It allows me to disconnect from life and all its issues. To me theres nothing better than sitting down in-front of a sunrise or sunset and just taking photos, whilst also putting the camera down and living in the moment. 

Photography is definitely one of my favourite hobbies, yet what drew me to choosing communications and media is the digital media aspect. As a sport fanatic I love to indulge in watching sport and giving my own subjective opinion. This leads me to my main goal in which I finish University with the confidence and the knowledge to write an article about trending topics and sport. At the end of the day I would like to intertwine two of my favourite hobbies and things in life through writing or blogging. 

My blog aims to use both sport and photography to convey the passion I have for the things I love. I will be writing and blogging about photography and sport while also showcasing my love and hopefully talent in Photography and Video Editing.