ARTICLE: Central and Eastern Europe has three types of media systems

Untitled by 422737, licence CC0 1.0

Can the media system typology famously proposed by Daniel Hallin and Paolo Mancini (2004) be applied to Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries? This question was put to the test by a group of researchers based in Switzerland and Germany. They applied the framework to 11 CEE countries and conducted a series of statistical tests to cluster the countries according to similarity.

Authors found that the countries clustered robustly into three separate types, but only after modifying the framework. The clusters were named according to their approximate geographical location as the northern, eastern, and central group. Here, Estonia is part of the northern group although it should still be considered as an “outlier”, the authors point out.

Northern group consists of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia. It is defined by high foreign ownership and press freedom, low levels of political parallelism and weak public service broadcasting.

Eastern group is formed of Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. This group is also marked by weak public service broadcasting and high foreign ownership, but also low press freedom and high political parallelism.

Central group consists of the Czech Republic, Poland, Croatia, and Slovenia. Countries in this group have strong public broadcasters and low foreign ownership. Political parallelism is slightly lower and press freedom slightly higher than average.

The study was conducted by:

  • Laia Castro Herrero, of University of Fribourg
  • Edda Humprecht, of University of Zurich
  • Sven Engesser, of Technische Universität Dresden (formerly of University of Zurich)
  • Michael Brüggemann, of University of Hamburg
  • Florin Büchel, of University of Zurich

The article “Rethinking Hallin and Mancini Beyond the West” was published by the International Journal of Communication. It is freely available on the publisher’s website (open access).

Picture: Untitled by 422737, licence CC0 1.0.

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