The Development of public media in Latvia as a post-communist country has essentially been influenced by politicians. The political community has had consensus that certain reforms are necessary to ensure the development of public media given the changes in the communication space and its role in the facilitation of the strengthening of democracy, yet during the last fifteen years the political elite has not been able to come to a common agreement and to make decisions on systemic reforming and the development of public media. Since the communication environment has changed post digitalisation of television, the question about public media development and legitimisation has become increasingly topical.
The aim of the study is to explore how the members of the parliament of Latvia (Saeima) position public service media (PSM) in Latvia and assess the public value of PSM. The theoretical framework for the research is based on the concept of public value „strategic triangle” (Benington & Moore 2011), which consists of three main elements: public value outcomes, the authorising environment and operational capacity.
The study is based on qualitative research methods including 18 semi-structured interviews conducted with members of the Saeima in 2012 and 2013. The acquired data has been analysed by the principles of thematic analysis (Attride-Stirling 2001). Analysis of the interviews show that members of the Saeima recognise the need for public media to be independent whilst at the same time supporting a model in which public media is not supposed to have independent funding and they will continue competing with commercial media in the advertising market. High competition and resentment are characteristic features of the political elite in Latvia that apparently would also in future hamper the making of such decisions about public media that will facilitate their high-quality. Results of the research show the tendency for members of parliament to lack the necessary knowledge to formulate their opinion and to modulate relations of public media with society and their place in the overall media system in Latvia.
Challenges and Opportunities in the Democratization Process
Poul Erik Nielsen
The introduction of a liberal media model built on freedom of expression, non-regulation, and free market in Post-Communist Mongolia has lead to a plethora of new media outlets. In a context of external pluralism, the media are key players in dramatic political, social, and cultural changes in Mongolian society. However, due to violations of media freedom, lack of ethical standards as well as market failures in a media market marred with clientelism, the Mongolian media have neither lived up to the ideals of liberal media theory nor been driving forces in the ongoing democratization process. Instead, private and public media, in an unholy alliance, appear more like a lapdog in the service of the political and financial establishment than like a watchdog.
An Analysis of Response Practices in the Weekly Swedish Podcast MattssonHelin
Torbjörn von Krogh and Göran Svensson
At the time of writing in June 2015, the top Swedish tabloid editors, Thomas Mattsson and Jan Helin, Editors-in-Chief for the competing news organisations, Expressen and Aftonbladet, have produced 116 weekly issues of their joint podcast “MattssonHelin”. An examination of 24 samples of the content regarding responses to media criticism shows that the responses can be categorised in eleven groups that range from total rejection to total acceptance. Our categorisation presents a complement to earlier research on media responses to criticism. The responses contain elements of paradigm repair for journalism (Berkowitz 2000) but also illuminate how the editors use the particular advantages of the podcast format to enhance their take on public media literacy. Their presence in this particular digital platform allows for long and nuanced discussions on journalistic practice in relation to media criticism, albeit on their own terms.
Spain’s Public National Television (TVE) faces the uncertainty of defining its role as the main public broadcaster at a moment when neither the economic situation of the country nor the waning satisfaction with the citizens with TVE, make things any easier. Furthermore, the government announcement of TVE’s withdrawal of advertising in 2009 was widely commented, as there has never been any license fee in support of Spanish public media.
On the other hand, the economic crisis that Spain is going through has posed the issue on the need of cutting down governmental expenditures on the desk of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Will these also include TVE, as it has happened with public regional media? Will Spanish citizens admit the importance of improving TVE now that two gigantic commercial media groups, Mediaset and Planeta, dominate the audiovisual landscape?
The purpose of this paper is to show the methodological power and potentiality of the concept paradigm of unity introduced originally in the ceremony on the occasion of honoring Chiara Lubich with the doctor honoris causa title by the Catholic University of Lublin in 1996. Originally this conception was used to suggest the societal activity of Chiara Lubich in building, via the Focolari movement, psychosocial infrastructures for unity in various social domains, (for example in the economy of communion, in politics (politicians for unity project), in public media (journalists for unity), in ecumenism and inter-religious contacts (ecumenical and inter-religion Focolari Centers) This conception is a kind of a great inspiration (a kind of Copernican revolution in the social sciences) which would motivate the social sciences to build their own research paradigm of a type of mental and methodological power and potentiality which could give a new vision of social world (as Copernicus did in natural sciences (Biela, 1996, 2006)). Thomas Kuhn (1962) regarded the Copernician revolution as the one which, in the history of science, best illustrates the nature of scientific revolution. The essence of paradigm in a Kuhnian sense is a mentality change in its nature. Copernicus had to change the well-established geocentric system which functioned not only in the science of his day but also in culture, tradition, social perception, and even in the mentality of religious and political authorities. And he did it in a well prepared empirical, methodological and psychological way.
In a similar way Chiara Lubich created by her social acting a revolutionary inspiration for building paradigm in social science She decided in an extremely difficult and risky situation in 1944 in Trento not only to escape from her own life emergency but she with her friends made a decision to help other people who were in a much more difficult situation to survive. She decided to take a war bombing risk to be with lost children and older people who were in need. It was a practical building of the unity with the real people who were in need. This kind of experience rediscovered the community as a model for the real life and made a concretization and clarification of the charisma of the unity. However, the development of this charisma shows that it is simply a concrete and practical actualization of the new vision of social, economic, political and religious relationships which advises, recommends, suggests, and promotes the unity with others persons (Lubich, 2007).
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