The Italianization Model? A Comparative Perspective on the East Central European and South European Media Systems
To compare media systems in Western Europe and North America, Paolo Mancini of University of Perugia, Italy, and Daniel C. Hallin of University of California, San Diego, USA, proposed a framework of four major dimensions.
The media scholars have distinguished the development of media markets, political parallelism, the development of journalistic professionalism and the degree of state intervention in the media system. When taking these four variables into account, unquestioned groupings (the Liberal Model, the Democratic Corporatist Model, and the Polarized Pluralist Model) begin to appear.Of the specified models, however, the media systems of Southern Europe have been clearly distinguished by Hallin and Mancini from Western Europe and America. The authors themselves have concluded that their Polarized Pluralist Model would be the very model against which other media systems could be measured. Indeed, its characteristics can admittedly be found in the media and political systems of the CEE countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic states. The similarities are, inter alia, the following: a high level of the politicization of the mass media, strong state intervention in the media, or underdeveloped professional standards of ethics in the journalism performance. Incidentally, the features of the media systems of Portugal, Spain, Greece or Italy,for instance, can ordinarily be detected in the CEE region in more extreme forms. They are not so different to constitute a distinct model, however. Apparently, this line of thinking leads me into the Splichal’s concept of the Italianization of the East Central European media. The phenomenon of Italianization is associated with Italy because it reflects what happened in the media industry during the 1980s and 1990s.
Given that, the author will attempt in her paper to compare the media systems of Central Eastern Europe to those of Southern Europe (described by the two scholars as The Polarized Pluralist Model), in particular to those of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, as well as to address the question posed in the title. In doing so, she will predominantly rely upon the named and slightly modified four correlations (journalism, level of press circulation, role of the state in the media and level of journalistic professionalism). The author will additionally employ, for her comparative investigation, another two categories, notably a dual media model – public and commercial broadcasters, as well as competitive press.
Source: Comparing Media Systems in Central Europe: Between Commercialization and Politicization, B. Dobek-Ostrowska and . Głowacki (eds). 2008 University of Wroclaw Press