Why mass media matter to planning research: The case of megaprojects

Flyvbjerg, Bent (2012) Why mass media matter to planning research: The case of megaprojects. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32 (2). pp. 169-181.


This article asks how planning scholarship may effectively gain impact in planning practice through media exposure. In liberal democracies, the public sphere is dominated by mass media. Therefore, working with such media is a prerequisite for effective public impact of planning research. Using the example of megaproject planning, it is illustrated how so-called “phronetic planning research,” which explicitly incorporates in its methodology active and strategic collaboration with media, may be helpful in generating change in planning practice via the public sphere. Main lessons learned are as follows: (1) working with mass media is an extremely cost-effective way to increase the impact of planning scholarship on practice; (2) recent developments in information technology and social media have made impact via mass media even more effective; (3) research on “tension points,” that is, points of potential conflict, are particularly interesting to media and the public, and are especially likely to generate change in practice; and (4) tension points bite back; planning researchers should be prepared for, but not afraid of, this.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Listed as "Most Read" article on the journal's homepage. Listed on SSRN's Top Ten Download List for Social Media Issues. Listed on SSRN's Top Ten Download List for Rhetoric and the Media.
Keywords: Mass media; planning research; media exposure; public deliberation; megaprojects; tension points; phronesis
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2012 13:40
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2015 05:46
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/3856

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View