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Media Accountability in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe By Sergio Splendore Session 12 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman.

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Presentation on theme: "Media Accountability in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe By Sergio Splendore Session 12 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman."— Presentation transcript:

1 Media Accountability in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe By Sergio Splendore Session 12 Photo: imago/ecomedia/robert fishman

2 July 2013Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe2 Road map for Session No. 12 Hallin and Mancini Features and MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe MAI Media System Features Journalists’ perceptions

3 July Mediterranean Model – General Features Newspaper Industry Political Parallelism ProfessionalizationRole of the state in Media System Low newspaper circulation Elite politically oriented press High political parallelism External pluralism, commentary- oriented journalism Parliamentary or government model of broadcast governance Weaker professionalization Instrumentalization Strong state intervention press subsidies in France and Italy Periods of censorship “Savage deregulation” (except France) Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

4 July 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 Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

5 July INSIDE JOURNALISM: HIGH DEGREE OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Normative instruments: Code of Ethics (1918), institutionalization of the press card (1936) and Convention of Munich (1971) The ombudsman was introduced in the mid 1990s to respond to the supposed «crisis of confidence» No press councils Presence of «Founders texts» in journalism history and courses on deontology have been imposed (corporatist regulation) France The introduction of press councils or newspapers’ ombudsmen has hardly been on the agenda of the domestic media players The Ordine dei Giornalisti (OdG), the Association of Journalists, established by the law, to which all journalists must belong in order to see their profession publicly recognized, covers some functions similar to the press council In 1993, the Ordine promoted the ‘Carta dei doveri’ (‘The Duties’ Charter’), a code of ethics that supplements the norms enforced by law and was composed under governmental pressure The codes of ethics that media outlets adopt are also a rarity, even though there have been several controversial and unsuccessful cases and episodic public discussions that prompted action on part of the media Italy The ombudsman plays an important role (El Pais, La Vanguardia, La Voz de Galicia, El Correo Gallego and El Punto) Well established press council Two major codes of ethics exist Other self-regulation instruments do not exist or are highly influenced by political actors Spain Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

6 July OUTSIDE JOURNALISM: HIGH DEGREE OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel - Defined as «independent» created by a law of 1989 (regulating role) Observatoire des sondages France AGCOM - Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni – communications authority that monitors and regulates the media field Osservatorio di Pavia Italy Audiovisual authorities do often assume a guiding role that makes them similar to press councils Regional authorities also manage complaints from citizens regarding media behavior The most mature and well-established of these institutions is the Asociación de Usuarios de la Comunicación (Aue, Association of Communication Users) Spain Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

7 July INSIDE JOURNALISM: LOW DEGREE OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Journalist blogs are presented as personal points of view by journalists, allegedly liberated from the usual constraints of their profession; tend to circulate within the journalistic field Websites dedicated to media have recently challenged the journalistic monopoly over media ethics, principally as a part of media observatories, which fuel debates about journalistic practices, but also provide some documentation about media accountability France The domains in which media criticism has the greatest opportunity to expand its range and influence are the blogosphere and the spaces provided by the online editions of several established media. Since the beginning of the 2000s, like many other countries, Italy has experienced the proliferation of websites offering news and information. Blogs about specific newspapers or providing a nuanced look at the whole Italian media system have reached a very significant role in terms of the number of contacts. Italy No systematic tradition of media criticism Spain Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

8 July OUTSIDE JOURNALISM: LOW DEGREES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION As far as citizen blogs are concerned, the production of information, except for the topics of cooking or traveling, tends to be monopolized by individuals associated to journalism (former journalists, journalism students, freelance journalists) Satirical TV programs and newspapers can be viewed as ›avant-garde‹ cultural products based on subversion and non-conformism on the one hand, and quality and seriousness on the other hand France Several citizen blogs, informative weblogs written by the public not involved in media companies, target the contents of the press and television news Infotainment and satirical TV programs play a role in media criticism, although it is not their major aim ; they often propose nuanced applications of accountability instruments Italy Blogs dedicated to technology rather than journalism The Internet has helped the audience to play an active and leading role regarding news, and at the same time has become a significant space for interpreting and debating media Spain Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

9 July Media Accountability Instruments: How to locate the Mediterranean countries low degree of institutionalization journalism-externaljournalism-internal high degree of institutionalization Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

10 July Central Eastern Europe Newspaper Industry Political ParallelismProfessionalizationRole of the state in Media System Highly competitive press, newspapers compete to gain new readers Low level of newspaper circulation Increasing importance of electronic media, in particular TV Politically-driven, politicized and selective journalism Media suffers from impartiality, objectivity and fairness No balance in editorial viewpoints Lack of professional ethos Low standards of ethics Limited objectivity and fairness in reporting Underdeveloped journalism Education and training Strong division of journalistic community State plays an important role as a regulatory agency In most cases the state is the only shareholder of public service media Large subsidized public service broadcasting Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

11 July INSIDE JOURNALISM: HIGH DEGREES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Original press council / press council of Newspaper Association Broadcasting Council’s Guidelines for PSB Code for a particular newspaper (Äripäev) No ombudsman Estonia Free Act 1984 established the press council 1992 Broadcasting Act – National Broadcasting Council The Charter of Media Ethics (1995) Journalistic Code of Conduct (2002) Journalists’associations establish the ethical standards No ombudsman Poland National Audiovisual Council (implementing AV law, receiving complains, counseling) Journalists’ associations, journalists’ unions, small effect Common code of ethics since 2004, renewed 2009 (due to external funding) Romania Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

12 July OUTSIDE JOURNALISM: HIGH DEGREES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION NGOs which are concerned with fair media performance The Union of Children’s Welfare has initiated several debates and conferences, and produced complaints for the press councils Estonia Governments and political elites in Poland have been more concerned with gaining greater power over the sector of mass media than to create conditions for alternative forms of media regulation and instruments of accountability. Poland Academia – faint voice Parliament members (observing media to improve legislation for the PBS) The Center for Independent Journalism – CJI (Freedom Forum) Active Watch/ Media Monitoring Agency (Reporters without Borders) NGOs, users’ association – little involvement, small effect Romania Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

13 July INSIDE JOURNALISM: LOW DEGREES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Civic society structures are not strong enough to be able to watch the watchdog The few media-critical blogs that do exist are not influential Estonia Weblog influence on the functioning of the Polish media is unclear Professional commentators express much of the criticism of the media through blogs and social networking websites which enable micro blogs Poland Specialized media columnist: mostly news on media, less debates on ”faux pas” Mockery on journalists’ mistakes (Cârcotaşii, Prima TV; ApropoTV, ProTV; Trampe, Academia Caţavencu – print and online) Analyses of faux pas (paginademedia.ro) Romania Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

14 July OUTSIDE JOURNALISM: LOW DEGREES OF INSTITUTIONALIZATION Media analysis appears sporadically /preferably on TV Estonia Internet users’ comments on online articles, and portals dedicated to media where journalists, media specialists and the audience have the opportunity to express their opinion on the media in Poland. There are a few portals enabling easily created blogs, such as the most popular blog.onet.pl with 1.5 million blogs and blog.pl. Most blog pages contain occasional comments and discussions concerning media, which appear when public opinion finds media unprofessional and dysfunctional Social networking websites which facilitate micro-blogging constitute a separate group of potential tools to monitor the media Poland Feedback of users on the Internet pages of media products Users develop their own source-crossing tactics, when information seems important for them (FJSC pool in Oct ) Romania Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

15 July Media Accountability Instruments: CEE low degree of institutionalization journalism-externaljournalism-internal high degree of institutionalization POLAND: lively online debate ESTONIA: two press councils, but no ombudsman ROMANIA: mockery on journalists’ mistakes Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

16 July Journalists‘ perceptions Index of support and impact goes from 0 to 1.0 Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe MediaAcT survey data

17 July Journalists‘ perceptions Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe MediaAcT survey data

18 July Journalists‘ support and perception of influence of MAI With the exception of Estonia, the journalists’ support for MAI is generally quite high in the models here considered, between 0.7 and 0.8. The support does not appear to be connected to the perceived impact: countries like Spain and Italy – which credit the MAIs with less impact – register a high score on support. In this sense one can argue that ‘accountability’ is a widely shared and acknowledged ‘general’ value by Mediterranean and Central/Eastern journalists. Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

19 July 2013 Session 12 - MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe 19 Journalists‘ support and perception of influence of online MAI The scores relative to the online MAIs are lower overall in both the support and the perceived impact. However, here the countries display a reverse ‘behaviour’: the lower the perceived impact (Italy, Romania, Poland and France), the higher is the support. In general, in spite of the distinction between established and online MAIs (due also to the different penetration of the Internet), most journalists in most countries showed wide support for accountability principles. Among the journalists from all of the countries there is a shared view, a common sentiment, which crosses all of the various journalistic cultures.

20 July Due to the similarity of media systems and the general support among journalists, the diversity of the impact of MAI and the difference of media accountability systems, must be found in the diverse cultural environments of the different countries. The differences, but also the similarities, show that one can find significant attitudes of journalists on professional principles (like the publication of ethical codes, or responding to users’ comments) in countries where journalism training is less established and journalists are less expected to be responsible (like the countries analysed here). Accountability is a culturally-charged concept and its use and implementation can be seen as functions of a particular national culture. For example, it is hardly a coincidence that the accountability of public officials, politicians and institutions offering public services are carved in the laws regulating these domains in countries with a Protestant socio-political historical background, while it is only loosely positioned in the legislations of Catholic countries. Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe

21 July References Hallin, D. C. and P. Mancini Comparing Media Systems. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hallin, D. C. and P. Mancini, eds Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hanitzsch T., F. Hanusch, C. Mellado, M. Anikina, R. Berganza, I. Cangoz, M. Coman et al “Mapping Journalism Culture Across Nations. A Comparative Study of 18 Countries.” Journalism Studies 12: 273–293. Hanitzsch, T ‘‘Deconstructing Journalism Culture: towards a universal theory.” Communication Theory 17: 367–385. Örnebring, H “Comparative European Journalism: the state of current research.” Working paper 1/2009. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Accessed May 2, tive_European_Journalism_HO_Working_Paper_01.pdf Örnebring, H “Comparative Journalism Research – An Overview.” Sociology Compass 6: 769–780. Shoemaker, P. J. and S. D. Reese Mediating the Message. Theories of Influences on Mass Media Content. New York: Longman. Zelizer, B “The Culture of Journalism.” In Mass Media and Society. 4 th Edition, edited by J. Curran and M. Gurevitch, 198–214. London: Edward Arnold. Session 12 – MA in Southern and Central/Eastern Europe


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