Mediadelcom goes Africa!

Written by Prof. Dr. Susanne Fengler

Mediadelcom German PI Prof. Susanne Fengler (on the right in the photo) presented the Mediadelcom project last week at the annual meeting of the East African Communication Association (EACA) 2023. The highly reputable EACA brings together journalism and mass communication scholars from East African countries, but has an impact into the scholarly community in sub-Sahara African mass communication research far beyond East Africa. More than 100 researchers attended this year’s meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. See more:

African colleagues at the EACA connected instantly to the Mediadelcom core topic, as the lack of infrastructures for deliberative communication remains a major hinderance in many African countries. In the same panel with the Mediadelcom presentation, researchers from South Africa and Mauritius highlighted the relevance for indigenous languages for civic involvement in public debates in African countries. In the coming week, Mediadelcom German senior researcher Marcus Kreutler will present project results in Latin America.

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Public event in Warsaw: Seeking for social cohesion

In an era of polarization, lies and conspiracy theories, walls are going up between people with differing views, religions, and politics. With limited opportunities to talk and listen in a respectful way – to deliberate – what will it take to break down those barriers? While attention often focuses on what politicians and the media should do, what about the creative sector? What role can artists play in preserving freedom and promoting deliberation in order to bring communities closer together?

The Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies, University of Warsaw, in collaboration with the Media Diversity Institute Global, is organizing an event which will explore the contribution the arts, culture and media sector can make to social cohesion.

11 May 2023, Warsaw

Read the overview

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Master students in Sweden research deliberative mini-publics

As part of the Environment and Decision-Making master’s programme, Geranne Vegter and Tomas Falk are researching  deliberative mini-publics. This endeavour is supervised by Professor Stephan Barthel, conducted at the University of Gävle.

The aim of this research is to understand the function and impact of mini-publics in society. Mini-publics, such as citizen’s assemblies and participatory budgeting, have the potential to contribute to a more transparent and democratic governance system, and in turn, help reduce society’s polarisation. The research is motivated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 16, which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Unlike many previous studies that have focused on case studies of specific mini-public projects, this research takes a broader view by examining as many mini-public projects across different topics and continents as possible. To achieve this, the researchers have launched a survey to gather data on mini-publics from a diverse range of perspectives. This survey is meant for people who have been part of a mini-public, who have organised one, who have moderated or facilitated one, who have been involved in any way with a mini-public. The conductors of the research invite you to participate in this survey to help us better understand the function and impact of mini-publics. The survey can be accessed here.

The researchers look forward to sharing their findings.

Photo from Högskolan i Gävle.

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New book: Comparing Post-socialist Media Systems

The Croatian partners of MEDIADELCOM from the Zagreb University together with the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik (IUC), and the Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen, are launching a new book, Comparing Post-socialist Media Systems: the Case of Southeast Europe.

This book explains divergent media system trajectories in the countries in Southeast Europe and challenges the presumption that the common socialist experience critically influences a common outcome in media development after democratic transformations by showing different remote and proximate configuration of conditions that influence their contemporary shape.

This is a conceptually rich, methodologically sophisticated, and interdisciplinary analysis of south-east European media systems that explains continuity, change and divergence between the six cases. It deserves to be read not only by scholars of the region but by those considering how to approach more generally the study of comparative media systems and cultures.

John Downey, Professor of Comparative Media Analysis, Loughborough University

Applying an innovative longitudinal set-theoretical methodological approach, the book contributes to the theory of media systems with a novel theoretical framework for the comparative analysis of post-socialist media systems. This theory builds on the theory of historical institutionalism and the notion of critical junctures and path dependency in searching for an explanation for similarities or differences among media systems in the Eastern European region.

Extending the understanding of media systems beyond a political journalism focus, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature on comparative media systems in the areas of media systems studies, political science, Southeast and Central European studies, post-socialist studies and communication studies.

The launch took place on Apr 15, 2021 at 04:00 PM CEST – Sarajevo, Skopje, Zagreb.
The event was streamed live and can be catched up at the IUC YouTube channel

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