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Introduction Basic Concepts and Theoretical Foundations of Media Accountability Session No. 1 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction Basic Concepts and Theoretical Foundations of Media Accountability Session No. 1 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction Basic Concepts and Theoretical Foundations of Media Accountability Session No. 1 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman

2 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction2 Why Media Accountability matters: The News of the World scandal and the Leveson Inquiry

3 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction3 Road map for Session No 1. Basic Concepts and Theoretical Foundations of Media Accountability Media Accountability DefinitionsRelevancePerspectivesModels

4 Session 1 - Introduction4July 2013 Media Accountability: Challenges for Journalism We recommend that the members of the press engage in vigorous mutual criticism. Professional standards are not likely to be achieved as long as the mistakes and errors, the frauds and crimes, committed by units of the press, are passed over in silence by other members of the profession. Who will hold the media accountable?

5 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction5 Media Accountability (MA): Definitions + Instruments Any non-State means of making media responsible towards the public. (Bertrand 2000: 108) Voluntary or involuntary processes by which the media answer directly or indirectly to their society for the quality and/or consequences of publication. (McQuail 2005: 207) Media self-regulation instruments (professional + organizational level): Press codes + press councils Media criticism (trade journals + mass media) Ombudsmen Newsroom + journalists blogs Media accountability instruments (involving the audience) Users Comments Media users blogs Social Media (Twitter, Facebook) etc. Low cost of criticism in digital age

6 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction6 Media Accountability in transition (?) Media Accountability Offline Online eEditor at Norran (Sweden) Tagesschau-Blog (Germany) fixmedia.org (Spain) Error Button at Berliner Morgenpost (Germany) See Session No. 9 & 10 See Session No. 5 & 6

7 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction7 Media Accountability online – Case Study: Editors Blog of the BBC News (UK) 1. Short description The Editors Blog, where editors from across BBC News share (their) dilemmas and issues, started in May 2006 as part of an effort to improve transparency and accountability. The BBC values openness and accountability and offers the audience the possibility to interact with its staff. This blog aims at explaining the editorial decisions and dilemmas faced by the teams running the BBC's news service (incl. radio, TV, online). 2. Money/Time/Resources Most of the blog posts are fairly brief and they are written by many different contributors from across BBC TV and radio, respectively the online service. In 2011, there were 70 blog posts. 3. User participation In some cases, the blog posts are responses to feedback, comments and criticism the BBC may have received from the public over the way it had handled certain news stories. Each post also allows for moderated response. 4. Why is it a best practice example? The types of articles posted on the blog fall into two general categories – updates about BBC News (a new newsroom, an app, viewing figures, etc.) and responses to feedback. For example, in December 2011, the BBC was criticized over its coverage of a European Summit in Brussels (notably by the Eurosceptic media), which led to the BBC Director of News issuing a response which then received a further 200 comments. 5. Why is it important for media accountability? Responding to criticism, and being open to further criticism, is an excellent way of showing actor, newsroom and production transparency – especially for the publicly funded BBC. Link: Source: Bichler et al. 2012

8 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction8

9 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction9 How effective is media self-regulation? Observations from research Media journalists – who cover media issues for quality media – shy away from criticizing their colleagues and supervisors (e.g. Fengler 2002; Malik 2004; Porlezza 2005). Studies dealing with ombudsmen reveal similar self- imposed restrictions (e.g. Evers et al. 2010). Broadcasting stations tend to criticize the print media and vice versa, often with a political bias with regard to specific industry interests regarding media policy. (e.g. Krüger/Müller-Sachse 1998; Weiss 2004) Collective and individual self-interests of media professionals obviously restrict the impact of established media self-regulation instruments. New models may be needed to hold the media to account more effectively. See Session No. 3

10 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction10 Self regulation and coregulation are general principles of EU policy Policy makers (EU, EP, OSZE, UNESCO) increasingly broach the issue of media self regulation The transformation societies of Eastern Europe and the Arabic states perform under special frame conditions of Media Accountability The EU High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism presented a ground breaking report in 2013 and suggested among other recommendations to drastically expand the sanctioning potential of existing press councils, which provoked fierce response by industry representatives and lobbyists across EuropeHigh Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism Political relevance Session 1 - IntroductionJuly Discussion: Does the traditional model of media self-regulation dating back from the 1950s, with press councils as its core institution, still suffice for todays converging media world – which is ever so much more competitive?

11 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction11 Journalism cultures (Hallin/Mancini 2004) The liberal model (e.g. Great Britain, United States) is characterized by highly deregulated media markets, little state interference in the media sector, and a highly developed culture of professionalism among journalists (Hallin and Mancini 2004: 198). The democratic corporatist model (e.g. Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria) is also associated with high professionalism among journalists, but differs from the liberal model with regard to the influential role that public broadcasting plays in those countries (Hallin and Mancini 2004: 143). Distinctive features of the polarized pluralist model (e.g. Italy, Spain, France) are the high influence of political actors on both private and public news organizations, a weak professional culture among journalists, and the somewhat marginal role of the print media (Hallin and Mancini 2004: 89).

12 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction12 Media Accountability as informal institutions of media regulation (North 1990) Media regulation laws standards

13 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction13 Media Accountability: Functions for Stakeholders Media society: Enlightenment Media audience: Media literacy Media politics/economics: Transparency Media actors: Quality control Media products: Orientation (Beuthner/Weichert 2005)

14 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction14 Classification of Media Accountability (Shoemaker/Reese 1996) Source: Model adapted from Shoemaker and Reese 1996, amended by Fengler et al Journalists (Individual Level) Professional Standards (Media Routines Level) Newsroom, media organization (Organization Level) Extramedia Level Transnational Level Journalist Training Journalist Blogs Press Councils Trade Journals Ombudsmen Newsroom blogs Organizational Ethic Codes Watchblogs by Citizens NGOs Social Networks

15 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction15 Media Accountability instruments: a typology Research NGOs Press councils Codes of ethics Media journalism Ombuds- men Journalist blogs Entertain- ment formats Media criticism in social networks Citizen blogs low degree of institutionalization journalism-externaljournalism-internal high degree of institutionalization Training Letters to the editor Online comments

16 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction16 Modes of Media Accountability (Bardoel and dHaenens 2004) Accountability to the state (1) Accountability to the market (2) Professional accountability (3) Public accountability (4) Source: Developed from Bardoel and dHaenens (2004) by Heikkilä, Domingo, Pies, Głowacki, Kuś and Baisnée (2012: 6)

17 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction17 Research project Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe (MediaAcT): Comparative study in 14 countries Analysis of status quo of media self- regulation and media accountability in Europe Survey of journalists attitudes towards media accountability Key interest 1: Impact of established and innovative media accountability instruments Key interest 2: Cultures of accountability in Europe and comparison with exemplary Arab states

18 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction18 New cultures of media accountability in Europe? most-advanced countries The North/Central European or Democratic Corporatist Model advanced countries The North/Central European or Democratic Corporatist Model less-advanced countries The Mediterranean or Polarized Pluralist Model under-construction countries countries without formal MAS

19 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction19 No. SessionLearning targets 1Introduction – Basic concept and theoretical foundation of Media Accountability Overview of the definitions, models, and theories as well as the relevance of Media Accountability. 2Ethical challenges in journalism and Media Accountability – Recent cases Overview of recent cases and ethical dilemmas of Media Accountability in Europe and beyond. 3Back to the future – From the state of the art to new theoretical concepts Overview of theoretical concepts of Media Accountability from an economic perspective. 4Theoretical perspectives – Systemic and comparative approach of the Media, Field theory Overview of a Systemic Theory and Field Theory of Media Accountability. 5Media Accountability Instruments on the professional level – Part 1 - Press Councils, ombudsman and letters to the editors Overview of Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) on the professional media level. 6Media Accountability Instruments on the professional level – Part 2 - Codes of Ethics Overview of Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) on the professional media level. 7Media Accountability Instruments on the organizational level – Part 1 - Theory Overview of Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) on the organizational media level. 8Media Accountability Instruments on the organizational level – Part 2 - Practices Overview of Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) on the organizational media level. 9Online and participative Media Accountability Instruments – Part 1 Analysis of online and participative Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) in Europe and beyond. 10Online and participative Media Accountability Instruments – Part 2 Analysis of online and participative Media Accountability Instruments (MAIs) in Europe and beyond. 11Media Accountability in Northern Europe and the Anglo-American World Analysis of the cultures of Media Accountability based on the concept of Hallin and Mancini. 12Media Accountability in Southern and Central/Eastern EuropeAnalysis of the cultures of Media Accountability based on the concept of Hallin and Mancini. 13Media Accountability in Authoritarian and Transitional Systems – The Cases of Jordan and Tunisia Analysis of authoritarian and transitional media systems with a focus on the Arab World. 14Final AssingmentTask: Collection and discussion of national case studies. Road Map

20 July 2013Session 1 - Introduction20 References Bardoel J. and L. dHaenens Media responsibility and accountability: New conceptualizations and practices. Communications 29: 5– 25. Bertrand, C.-J Media Ethics & Accountability Systems. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. Beuthner, M. and S. A. Weichert Die Selbstbeobachtungsfalle. Grenzen und Grenzgänge des Medienjournalismus. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften. Bichler, K., H. Harro-Loit, M. Karmasin and Daniela Kraus Best Practice Guidebook. MediaAct Workingpaper No. 14/2012. Evers, H., H. Groenhart and J. Groesen The News Ombudsman: Watchdog or Decoy? In Studies for the Netherlands Press. Diemen: AMB. Fengler, S Medienjournalismus in den USA. Konstanz: UVK. Heikkilä, H., D. Domingo, J. Pies, M. Glowacki, M. Kuś and O. Baisnée Media Accountability Goes Online. A transnational study on emerging practices and innovations. MediaAct Workingpaper No. 14/2012. Krüger, U. M. and K. H. Müller-Sachse Medienjournalismus. Strukturen, Themen, Spannungsfelder. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag. McQuail, D McQuail's Mass Communication Theory. 5 th Edition. London: Sage. North, D. C Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Porlezza, C Zwischen Selbstbeweihräucherung und Konkurrenzkritik. Medienjournalismus in der Schweiz – drei Fallstudien. Medienwissenschaft Schweiz 1: Puppis, M Organisationen der Medienselbstregulierung. Europäische Presseräte im Vergleich. Köln: Herbert von Halem Verlag. Shoemaker, P. and S. D. Reese Mediating the Message: Theories of Influences on Mass Media Content. 2 th Edition. White Plains: Longman. Vike-Freiberga, V., Däubler-Gmelin, H., Hammersley, B. Maduro, M A free and pluralistic media to sustain European democracy. The Report of the High Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism


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