Comparative Media Systems: European and Global Perspectives

Comparative Media Systems: European and Global Perspectives

Comparative Media Systems: European and Global Perspectives

Comparative Media Systems: European and Global Perspectives

Excerpt

From the papers in this collection, we have learned a great deal about the media and politics in specific countries. More importantly, this collection has given us new suggestions for continuing and deepening the research and the theoretical discussion that we started with our book Comparing Media Systems. In many ways the papers in this collection cast doubt on whether the three models proposed in our book can be applied unchanged— and we are happy to endorse that finding. Our models are not intended as universal patterns that are somehow inherent in the nature of media and politics. We conceive them as concrete, historical patterns that can be observed in the groups of countries we studied. We have always hoped that people studying other regions would not try to apply them unmodified, but instead would follow our approach, in the sense of developing models of their own. Several authors of this volume point out how difficult it is to fit their own country into one or another of our models. We would stress that we do not believe this is the best reading of Comparing Media Systems, to focus on the three models as pigeonholes in which to place particular cases.

When referring to our models, in spite of the difficulties we just pointed out, many authors in this collection, as in other works, see many similarities between the media system of their own country and what we called the Polarized-Pluralist or Mediterranean Model. As we observed in the book, the historical experience of the Liberal and Democratic Corporatist countries is quite distinct from that of most countries in the world, and the Polarized Pluralist is likely to have the most relevance for understanding media systems in other parts of the world. This is particularly true for the countries in Eastern Europe that emerged from a long period of dictatorship and other countries outside Europe that underwent very different social and historical experiences from those of North America or Northern Europe. So the comparison with the Mediterranean region is appropriate and potentially useful. But certainly our Polarized Pluralist Model should not be applied in a mechanical way, as though it could replace the role of the Liberal Model in earlier literature as a universal . . .

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