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Comparing Media Systems

RISJ Admin

Contributing Author

Ichiro Motozawa writes:Prof. Mancini's discussion of the media-politics relationship was organized around three models: the Mediterranean or Polarized Pluralist Model, the North/Central European or Democratic Corporatist Model, and the North Atlantic or Liberal Model. Examples of the Mediterranean model or Polarized Pluralist Model are France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain; North/Central European or Democratic Corporatist Model: Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland; the North Atlantic or Liberal Model: Britain, United States, Canada, Ireland.
In his comparative framework for eighteen countries, he took into account political variables such as; political history, consensus vs. majoritarian government, individual vs. organized pluralism, and rational-legal authority. As media variables, four major dimensions were proposed; the structure of the media market, political parallelism, the development of journalistic professionalism, and the role of the state. A common tendency is that Anglo-American or Liberal model has become increasingly dominant across Europe as well as North America in a process which he called 'homegenisation'.
In his most recent investigation, Prof. Mancini has extended his research countries to include Eastern Europe, South Africa and other African countries, Israel, Cambodia and Thailand, and Latin America. He argued that it was hugely important to be free from any Western bias in political culture and social context because in many parts of the world journalism is something completely different from what Westerners mean: he argued it is not an instrument to spread news but, essentially, it is an instrument to affect decision makers, and journalism is a political actor. The main differences between the West and the rest of the world lie in such elements as the role of the state, political parallelism, polarization, and rational-legal authority. Geographical proximity is also important, he added, as we can see similar historical developments there.