Leading researchers from different regions of Europe and the United States address five major interrelated themes: 1) how ideological and normative constructs gave way to empirical systematic comparative work in media research; 2) the role of foreign media groups in post-communist regions and the effects of ownership in terms of impacts on media freedom; 3) the various dimensions of the relationship between mass media and political systems in a comparative perspective; 4) professionalization of journalism in different political cultures—autonomy of journalists, professional norms and practices, political instrumentalization and the commercialization of the media; 5) the role of state intervention in media systems
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