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: www.eastafrica-ca.org.
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.
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.
The expected term on publicizing the two country case studies would be before the end on the year 2022. The first reports will hopefully be uploaded in November 2022.
Edit [03-12-22]: The case studies are downloadable at the page of Publications.
The initial term was postponed due to several circumstances: the reports needed extensive upgrading, the expert interviews needed to completed (which was complicated in summer) and the drafts were resubmitted to the European Commission.
The observations emerging in the studies can be heard in the series of podcast episodes released between March and July 2022.
The first country case studies aim at the media research capabilities of each country to indicate the health of media and deliberative communication. Mediadelcom project coordinator Halliki Harro-Loit said in the Podcast episode #12 that not much of it has yet been researched in Europe.
The second case studies focus on the state of art under the four domains developed within the Mediadelcom project.
The member of the Advisory Board Prof. Daniel Hallin shared his observations upon the drafts reports at the consortium biannual meeting in Sofia, BG, in September 2022. He spoke on these observations also in the Podcast episode #29.
A book on global media accountability is coming out. Largely based on outcomes of MediaACT project under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7), the EU’s research funding programme between 2007 and 2013, several editors of this book come from the teams of the ongoing Mediadelcom: Germany and Austria.
The Global Handbook of Media Accountability brings together leading scholars to de-Westernize the academic debate on media accountability and discuss different models of media self-regulation and newsroom transparency around the globe. With examination of the status quo of media accountability in 43 countries worldwide, it offers a theoretically informed comparative analysis of accountability regimes of different varieties.
As such, it constitutes the first interdisciplinary academic framework comparing structures of media accountability across all continents and creates an invaluable basis for further research and policymaking. It will therefore appeal to scholars and students of media studies and journalism, mass communication, sociology, and political science, as well as policymakers and practitioners.
The Mediadelcom Tallinn workshop will take place on 7–11 Sep at Teatri väljak 3, Tallinn. Teatri väljak means ‘Theatre Square’ and is located near the opera and ballet theatre Estonia. At the other end of the square, there is the ministry of foreign affairs.
At Teatri väljak 3, there are the Tallinn premices of the University of Tartu. It is located between a reconstruction site and the scientific library of the Tallinn University. Once upon a time, this all used to be the quarter of the Academy of Sciences – when the Academy was a set of research institutes during the soviet time.
In front of the entrance, there is a bus stop. Bus ride is free for the city citizens, but all foreigners need to buy a ticket , which can be done by simply touching the card reader with your bankcard at the front door (this also applies to arrivers from Tartu).
September brings us closer to autumn. In the global muddle of COVID-19, it has been unclear if Mediadelcom participants could gather in person. It is now clear that it is possible to get together: the consortium meeting (workshop) will take place in Tallinn (Estonia) on 7-11 September.
Through four days, the teams will discuss case studies. Three countries – Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria – have performed pilot studies to set grounds for the fine-tuning of the operational variables and other aspects of the methodology. Other discussion matters include how to apply fuzzy-set methodology and diachronic approach, how to relate the case studies and bibliographical database, and how to apply the agency approach.
Mediadelcom was launched in March 2021 and the members of the teams long to see each other face to face to better perform networking tasks and get to know the colleagues all over Europe. Further details will be reported soon.
For the past year, Mertek Media Monitor (Hungary, a partner also for the Mediadelcom) has been led by Memo98 (Slovakia), MediaForum (Czechia) and ActiveWatch (Romania) to examine the media policies of these four countries.
They all used the same methods to analyse the phenomena of the media system. The researchers were looking for answers to questions such as ● how do state advertising appear in the media market? ● what is the system, financing and content of public service media? ● how difficult is it to get information as a journalist? ● is there evidence of bias in the media authority?
The coming up is the closing event of the research. Thus, the organizers urge to join it and be informed about the results and the policy recommendations. The event will be held in English. The research was funded by National Endowment for Democracy.
The Embassy of Sweden in South-Africa together with partners will arrange a seminar launching a policy brief developed by a team of Swedish and African researchers and media practitioners who have jointly examined how independent journalism can be not only a leverage for democracy but also contribute to sustainable societies. And how media itself can develop new models for its own sustainability. One of these partners is also the MEDIADELCOM consortium member – Jönköping Universty, Sweden.
Meet the rapporteurs and follow the discussions around a new way of looking at journalism – called sustainable journalism, discussing about the future of journalism in a society marked by a lack of sustainability. Mark your calendars to watch the seminar online, held on Friday, 23 September 2021 between 14:00 – 15:00 hrs CEST/SAST Stockholm, Berlin, Brussels, Pretoria (UTC+2).
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 theIUC YouTube channel
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