In recent years the interest in comparative study of media systems has perked up within the filed of media/mass communication studies. The course aims to contribute to this growing interest in understanding what shapes media systems and how they in turn shape societies. The course will address media systems in Europe and the world in relation to technological, economic, political, social and cultural changes that influence their development. The course will analyze these changes in a comparative way, engaging with recent methods of comparative analyses of media systems.
In 2012 the course will be focusing on media system development of the new democracies in Southeastern Europe, primarily in terms of their democratic potential. We will examine the convergence and divergence of the media systems of the post-socialist states of the region, which were Republics in the Second Yugoslavia until their independence in 1990’s. The course will examine the compatibility of two recent approaches to analyzing media systems: the UNESCO media development indicators adopted by the UNESCO IPDC in 2008, which have been applied in the past few years to a number of countries internationally as well as to the countries of the Southeastern Europe, and the approach developed by Hallin and Mancini (2004) in constructing their three models of media systems in Western Europe.
Each year the topic of the course will focus on one, or a combination, of structural areas which define media systems: media markets (including aspects of ownership structures, concentration, audience behavior and media use, etc.), media and state (including media policy and regulation), political parallelism (or the relationship of the media, journalists, and the political sphere, including political communication and political culture), and professionalization of the journalists and the media.