Mapping Media Accountability — in Europe and Beyond

Herbert von Halem16 months after the official start of the international research project “Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe” (MediaAcT), the project’s state-of-the-art reports on media accountability research are now available in book form. The volume carries the title “Mapping Media Accountability - in Europe and Beyond”. Besides separate country reports on the status quo of media accountability research in the journalism cultures that are covered by the MediaAcT consortium, the book offers an introduction into the project’s theoretical foundations and a first cross-cultural assessment of current trends in media self-regulation and accountability. “Mapping Media Accountability” was presented to a wider public at the annual conference of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) last week. The following blurb gives a clearer idea about the book’s contents:

While press councils face tough challenges across Europe, and media reporting has almost vanished from the mass media in many countries in a time of media crisis, new forms of media accountability have emerged in the Internet: readers and viewers twitter about the media’s mistakes, online ombudsmen follow up on e-mail complaints, and journalists blog about their profession. Can such innovative instruments of media criticism effectively supplement conventional institutions of media self-regulation like press councils and media journalism?

This volume provides pioneer work in analyzing the development of established and emerging media accountability instruments in 14 countries in Eastern and Western Europe as well as the Arab world. Media scholars and students, professionals and policy-makers alike will be introduced to the specific problems and perspectives of media accountability in different media systems and journalistic cultures. Looked at from a comparative point of view, the reports hint at the formation of different cultures of media accountability within Europe and its adjacent countries. These cultures partly overlap with the journalism cultures identified in the well-known model by Hallin & Mancini. At the same time, the development of media accountability and transparency shows distinctive features incongruent with established models of journalism cultures. Consequently, the book also offers new stimuli for innovations in journalism theory.

A collection of abstracts from the book is now available on the MediaAcT website. More materials can be found on the homepage of the Cologne-based publisher Herbert von Halem.

The complete bibliographical reference:

Tobias Eberwein/Susanne Fengler/Epp Lauk/Tanja Leppik-Bork (eds.) (2011): Mapping Media Accountability - in Europe and Beyond. Cologne: Herbert von Halem Verlag, 267 pages.

Photo: Caroline Lindekamp

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