Comparative Media Systems

Comparative Media Systems: European and Global Perspectives

Bogustawa Dobek-Ostrowska
Michat Gtowacki
Karol Jakubowicz
Miklós Sükösd
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Pages: 305
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  • Book Info
    Comparative Media Systems
    Book Description:

    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

    eISBN: 978-615-5211-89-8
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Editors’ Introduction
    (pp. vii-x)
    Bogustawa Dobek-Ostrowska, Michat Gtowacki, Karol Jakubowicz and Miklós Sükösd
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini
  5. Introduction Media Systems Research: An Overview
    (pp. 1-22)
    Karol Jakubowicz

    “Press theories” are described by Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm (1956) as concepts of what “the press should be and do.” Normative media theory has been described by McQuail (1994, 121) as dealing with ideas of “how media ought to, or are expected to, operate.” Hallin and Mancini (2004, 1) say that they want to propose some answers to the question posed by Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm: “Why is the press as it is? Why does it apparently serve different purposes and appear in widely different forms in different countries?”

    Summing up 50 years of the development of media system classifications...

  6. Comparing West and East: A Comparative Approach to Transformation
    (pp. 23-40)
    Hans J. Kleinsteuber

    This is a proposal to introduce the term “transformation” into the comparative study of media systems. Transformation (from Latin: changing the form) refers to a change in form, nature, or function of a system. The term was originally used in other disciplines such as mathematics and physics. Transformation research in the social sciences originated in political science, notably in the 1980s, when processes of political democratization caught the attention of researchers. This was mainly a reaction to the breakdown of authoritarian regimes in the 1970s in Southern Europe and in the 1980s in Latin America. The approach was extended to...

  7. In Search of a Label for the Russian Media System
    (pp. 41-62)
    Hedwig de Smaele

    The Soviet Union presented a clear, coherent, and distinct media model in line with its general political, economic, and ideological model. It was labeled the communist model, the Soviet model, or the Marxist model. It was characterized by state (and party) ownership, centralization, partisan journalism, and (ideological) censorship. The post-communist Russian model, by contrast, seems to lack coherence. There is private ownership but also heavy state control. There is a ban on censorship but also pressure on journalists to write or not to write about certain things. There is decentralization but also a highly centralized state television. There are Western-style...

  8. Introducing Turkey to the Three Media System Models: The Content of TV News in Eleven Countries
    (pp. 63-76)
    Volkan Uce and Knut De Swert

    The influence of media systems, shaped within the historical, cultural, and political contexts of separate countries, is important for understanding political communication in a national context, in addition to being a necessary variable in any comparative study of political communication involving Western countries. To study the way the news media deal with politics and political actors, the three models of Hallin and Mancini (2004) constitute a good starting point for hypotheses. This paper will draw on these models in order to address the question of how politics and political actors are brought to the Turkish people through their main news...

  9. A Perspective from the South: Triggers and Signs of Change
    (pp. 77-96)
    Adrian Hadland

    Unlike any of the 18 countries used in Hallin and Mancini’s Comparing Media Systems paradigm, South Africa has recently experienced dramatic, profound change in both its political system and its media sector. Indeed, if there is one defining characteristic of the South African media market over the 13 years since the country’s transition from apartheid to democracy, change is probably it. Certainly, some trends predate South Africa’s first democratic election in April 1994, and indeed existed decades earlier. The country’s media sector is still dominated by four or five companies and their products, just as it was a century ago....

  10. The Reform of the Public Radio and Television System in the United Kingdom and in Spain (2004–2007): A Comparative Analysis
    (pp. 97-114)
    Carles Llorens and Isabel Fernández Alonso

    The broadcasting industry is undergoing major transformations, resulting from a growing tendency towards liberalization and commercialization in this sector as well as technological convergence. Within this context the meaning of public radio and television, or, to be more specific, the notion of a public service within the framework of Europe’s Information Society, has become a focal point of debate (Council of Europe 2006). In some European countries, such as Denmark or Italy, there have been proposals to privatize some public operator channels, while in other countries this option has been dismissed. Indeed, there is a clear political concern about reinforcing...

  11. Public Service Broadcasting in Ukraine: To Be or Not to Be?
    (pp. 115-126)
    Olexiy Khabyuk

    What preconditions must exist to allow the introduction of public service broadcasting? According to the principles of the World Radio and Television Council, genuine public service broadcasting has four core elements (Price and Raboy 2001, 5ff.):¹

    Program universality, i.e. accessibility for all citizens, independent of income level and social affiliation;

    Diversity and balance in content, genres, and audience;

    Distinctiveness of programs from those of non-public broadcasters in terms of higher quality, content promoting culture, high innovation, etc.;

    Independence of broadcasters from political and market pressures.

    The general economic conditions in a country are of fundamental importance for the financial endowment...

  12. Actors, Evolution, and Production Models in the Commodification of Spanish Television
    (pp. 127-152)
    Laura Bergés Saura

    Between 1989 and 2000, Spain’s television system went from being publicly owned to market-based. The public system consisted of two national channels (TVE1 and La 2) and eight regional channels. In 2000 the switch to a market model resulted in more than 100 national channels based on several different technologies—two public channels, four free terrestrial private channels, and pay-TV channels grouped in satellite and cable platforms—20 regional public channels in 14 autonomous regions, and about 1,000 local private and public channels. Since 2005, 20 more national digital terrestrial channels and at least five new public and private regional...

  13. The Global Journalist: Are Professional Structures Being Flattened?
    (pp. 153-170)
    Wolfgang Donsbach

    A fundamental research question in the social sciences is whether human behavior is unique in every new instant or instead follows universal laws, meaning that it repeats itself and can thus be predicted. This is true of both psychology and communications, for both the social behavior of people in situations of emotional stress and journalists who have to choose what is to become news: We want to know which aspects of social facts we observe can be grasped by fundamental laws.

    Besides the replication of observations, comparisons are the key for gaining such insights. One could even say that a...

  14. Czech Journalists after the Collapse of the Old Media System: Looking for a New Professional Self-Image
    (pp. 171-194)
    Jaromír Volek

    Over the past two decades, economic and technological rationalization in journalistic performance has accelerated. The rapid rise of new information and communications technologies, along with growing economic and cultural globalization, significantly amplified the commercialization process of the whole media sector. As a result, the professional self-image of journalists has changed. A post-modern journalist tries to combine his/her traditional role of reporter and interpreter with the requirements and opportunities provided by new technologies, and the pressures generated by the necessity of economic success. A journalist’s performance seems to reflect less and less the nature of testimony while representing more and more...

  15. Preserving Journalism
    (pp. 195-208)
    Auksė Balěytienė and Halliki Harro-Loit

    Theorists agree that critical and transparent communication is essential for any modern state. To a great extent this role (of a watchdog or a fourth estate) has been delegated to journalism. But in these neoliberal times, media systems are dominated by private capital. Media convergence and homogenization of journalism is taking place all over the world, posing a threat to democratic communication. In our networked world, distinctions between journalism and other forms of communication (such as advertising, promotional and marketing communication, and news management) are disappearing, and the traditional idea of journalist as an autonomous gatekeeper is vanishing, thus challenging...

  16. Main Professional Dilemmas of Journalists in Poland
    (pp. 209-232)
    Lucyna Szot

    The main professional dilemmas of journalists are shaped by their role and place in the media system. Therefore they reflect wider economic and political conditions. There are also numerous contradictions in the very essence of broadcasting and publishing activity among the state, the publisher, journalist, and the citizens. The social status of a journalist and his position in public life is determined by political and structural relations, as well as—especially nowadays—proprietary relations. This position marks the real limits of journalistic liberties and freedoms. The media system in Poland operates under strong political and economic pressure. Pressure from the...

  17. Comparing Media Systems and Media Content: Online Newspapers in Ten Eastern and Western European Countries
    (pp. 233-260)
    Hartmut Wessler, Malgorzata Skorek, Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw, Maximilian Held, Mihaela Dobreva and Manuel Adolphsen

    How similar or different are journalism cultures in Europe today? Are we witnessing the emergence of a homogeneous Western style of journalism based on an Anglo-American model? Or do national traditions of journalism persist? Can we identify groups of countries in Europe with similar journalism styles? Or do we find a dispersed pattern of national peculiarities? And how does the democratization of Eastern European countries—and their recent accession to the European Union—change the face of journalism in Europe? How do Eastern and Western European countries relate to the EU and to each other in their coverage of political...

  18. Political or Commercial Interests? Poland’s Axel Springer Tabloid, Fakt, and Its Coverage of Germany
    (pp. 261-282)
    Maren Röger

    When Axel Springer Polska, the Polish branch of the German publishing house Axel Springer, announced the introduction of a new daily in the beginning of 2003, the Polish media scene took notice. Axel Springer Polska had already been successful in different segments of the Polish print media market with its approximately 30 magazines and was considered one of the most powerful publishing houses in post-communist Poland.¹ Despite Springer’s extensive attempts at secrecy concerning the character, target group, and name of the announced product (Nalewajk 2003, 47), both the media industry and the public speculated about it. The assumption that a...

  19. Contributors
    (pp. 283-288)
  20. Index
    (pp. 289-290)