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Comparing media systems in new democracies: East meets South meets West
(University of Leeds, Great Britain)
ABSTRACT: The paper presents a comparative framework for understanding the emerging media systems in so-called third-wave democracies. Three pathways of democratization are distinguished – from communist oligarchy in Eastern Europe, from military dictatorship in Latin America, and from one-party dictatorship in Asia and Africa. Following Hallin & Mancini’s approach the paper then discusses for each of these pathways the particular patterns of transition of media markets, state-media relationships, political parallelism, and journalistic professionalism. The paper concludes by arguing that Western models of media systems cannot be easily applied to new democracies. Instead, new hybrid forms of political communication are emerging that blend liberal ideals of a free press with the trajectories of the past, indigenous values and the constraints and experiences of transition.