This book originates from a Colloquium organized in May 1989 at the Inter-University Centre in Dubrovnik under the auspices of the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication of Stockholm University. Without their support it would not have been possible to gather together such a range of scholars from different countries for what turned out to be a productive and enjoyable week. We must first thank the University and the Department for their generosity with time and resources. We would also like to express our appreciation to the staff of the Inter-University Centre for making available their facilities and for their work in easing the task of organizing and running the Colloquium.
In moving from a collection of papers to a book, we have been forced to leave out some of the original contributions. The demands of space and thematic unity have meant that we have excluded very valuable papers. A number of these have already been published elsewhere and others are being reworked as part of more extensive projects. We hope that in time most of the material discussed will be publicly available. The consideration of thematic unity also led us to include two papers, by Michael Gurevitch and his collaborators and by Vincent Porter and Suzanne Hasselbach, which were not presented at the Colloquium.
All the articles were specially commissioned with the exception of 'Musical chairs?: the three public spheres in Poland' by Karol Jakubowicz. It first appeared in the journal Media, Culture and Society, volume 12, number 2, and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the journal's editors and Sage Publications.