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

MEDIADELCOM kicked off on March, 23

The Swedish researchers present conceptual variables on journalism. Screen-shot from the Teams plaform display.

The H2020 project MEDIADELCOM officially started today, as the four-day kick-off meeting started. Several founding aspects were discusses, including the essence of deliberative communication which is what the entire project is all about.

Some of the focus of the project has been introduced in our earlier website posts, both written and oral. We continue to produce our outreach materials on the project activities and brainwork.

The rest of the kick-off meeting will be focused on several aspects and tools (e.g., variables, templates etc.) being addressed in the project, especially upon WP1 – Work Package 1 – but also on dissemination of findings, research ethics, reporting to the EC.

The consortium will hear about the simultaneous EU funded projects in the field of Evolving Media Landscapes and Europeanisation – Mediatized EU and EUMEPLAT. In parallel, the advisory board members and the surveying EC officers will give several addresses to the consortium members.

First podcast episode sheds popular light upon MEDIADELCOM

MEDIADELCOM has released the first podcast episode. It talks about the project’s intentions and goals.

Halliki Harro-Loit, the project coordinator and the professor in journalism of the University of Tartu (Estonia) reveals the main characteristics of MEDIADELCOM, the participating countries and teams, and the theoretical background. The latter is related to four main domains, which as the project’s hypothesis suggests create most of the risks and opportunities to be detected: legal and ethical regulation; media related competencies of both the journalists and the lay public; media usage patterns; and journalism news production.

In the podcast episode, representatives from two of the projects 17 teams express their expectations for the project. Peter Berglez, a professor in media and communication science from the Jönköping University (Sweden) says he hopes the project will produce “very important research about media and journalism development in European context”. On the one hand the consortium will make use of pre-existing multiple research on various aspects of journalism while, on the other hand, it will use the findings to establish understanding of the development of media in the EU from an economic point of view and from the democratic perspective.

Regarding the consortium, Peter Berglez says, “I have very great expectations concerning the network of researchers and scholars this project builds upon. It will also pave the way for a lot of good research in the future.”

Lenka Waschková CĂ­saĹ™ová, assistent professor from Masaryk University (Brno, CZE) also looks for a common working field for researchers coming from the CEE countries. “I hope that we will finally cooperate in Central and Eastern Europe because I know several colleagues from projects, conferences, papers, and books but we have not had an opportunity to work together. So I am glad that we finally meet in this project.”

“I think that it is a brilliant idea not to collect new data but rather work with the existing data,” Lenka Waschková CĂ­saĹ™ová adds. She feels, CEE countries have much information about themselves but due to divergence in media systems, policies and even languages, media researchers in the CEE countries do not know much about what has been studied or what kind of knowledge has been accumulated by others.

“The media situation pushes research to focus more on longitudinal understanding of media development in different countries,” Lenka Waschková CĂ­saĹ™ová says. This is the foundation of the overall context.

Peter Berglez notes that currently “the concept of professional journalism is in many ways questioned. … So what we need to explore under that, is the media development, the relation between the traditional journalism and other types of practices, which somehow represent journalism as well, or the big global platforms and social media.”

The kick-off meeting for the MEDIADELCOM will take place over four days from 23-26 March 2021. The project coordinator explains that as the meeting has to be held online and bring the project’s specifics to everyone’s attention, the duration of each day are planned to be short – 4 hours max.

In the early bird mood, however, two virtual meetings have already taken place – the say-hello-meeting and the work-package 1 meeting. Halliki Harro-Loit expects the next general workshop in September to take place in person.