Authors: Baisnée, Olivier
Domingo, David
Glowacki, Michal
Heikkilä, Heikki
Kus, Michal
Pies, Judith
Title: Media Accountability Goes Online
Other Titles: A transnational study on emerging practices and innovations
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The Internet is both a challenge and an opportunity for media accountability. Newsrooms and citizens are adapting existing practices and developing new ones on news websites, weblogs and social media. This report offers the first comparative study on how these practices are being developed and perceived in thirteen countries in Europe (Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, United Kingdom), the Arab world (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia) and North America (USA). Through the analysis of data on the media systems and in-depth interviews with journalists, experts and activists, the study maps the initiatives performed by media organizations and explores media criticism projects promoted from outside the newsrooms. The concept of journalistic fields proposed by Bourdieu provides the contextual analysis of the diversity of countries. It articulates the relationships between the media and the political and economic fields to explain how they shape media accountability developments on the Internet. The role of media self-regulation institutions and the active user culture enabled by the Internet are other actors considered in the description of the tensions surrounding media accountability in the journalistic fields. In this context, the study suggests that media accountability online is being enacted in practices that vary from country to country depending on the perceptions of journalists and newsrooms about it, the interplay of accountability aims with economic and political goals of the media, and their positions in the dynamic struggle for credibility within the journalistic field. Few media accountability practices are widespread in the countries analyzed, and the actual developments are very uneven in terms of motivations, technical tools and workflows. The analysis shows that those countries where there are more active online practices (USA, UK) are some of those with lower trust of the public in the media. In other contexts, such as the Arab countries, the efforts towards media accountability are mainly led by those citizens and journalists that also struggle to democratize society. The challenges in Europe seem to be maintaining the autonomy of the journalistic field, and while practices within and outside media organizations are scarce and often not systematic and institutionalized, the study has found cases that highlight how the Internet can be an effective tool to promote ethical journalism by fostering transparency and responsiveness.
Subject Headings: Arab world
blogs
Bourdieu
Bulgaria
comparative
empirical study
ethics
Europe
Finland
France
Germany
innovations
internet
Jordan
journalism
journalistic fields
journalists
Lebanon
media
media accountability
media activism
media bloggers
media criticism
newsrooms
online, citizens
Poland
responsiveness
self-regulation
Serbia
social media
social networks
Syria
the Netherlands
transnational
transparency
Tunisia
United Kingdom
United States
USA
users
weblogs
Subject Headings (RSWK): Massenmedien
Regulierung
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2003/29276
http://dx.doi.org/10.17877/DE290R-3269
Issue Date: 2012-01-13
Rights: This comparative report is part of a study on media accountability practices on the Internet. You can find further country reports as well as a general introduction to the methodology and concepts of those reports at: http://www.mediaact.eu/online.html The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 244147. The information in this document is the outcome of the EU project Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe (MediaAcT). The research reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The user thereof uses the information at their sole risk and liability.
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