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We are living in the midst of a communications revolution that is likely to have significant effects on democracy. Though it is too soon to know where this revolution will lead, it is an opportune moment for a broader historical inquiry into the relationship between democracy and the media. Representative democracy was born in the era of print media, but over the past century it has accommodated the rise of broadcasting and now is being shaped by new communications technologies. As a result, we seem to be heading toward a more pluralistic but also more fragmented media environment that may pose a threat to the shared civic arena essential to democracy.