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research articleMedia transformations, 2013, vol. 9, p. 118-154This article aims to explore the ways in which Estonian public broadcasting tackles one specific media service sphere; how television programmes for language minorities are created in a small country, how economics and European Union media policy have influenced this processes. The article highlights major tensions, namely between Estonian and Russian media outlets, Estonian and Russian speakers within Estonia and the EU and Estonia concerning the role of public service broadcasting (PSB). For research McQuail’s (2010) theoretical framework of media institutions’ influencers – politics, technology and economics – is used. For analyses media regulatory acts and audience surveys are accomplished with media institutions financial data from the beginning of 1990s until 2012. This kind of approach gives a comprehensive overview of development of Russian language media in such a small media market as Estonia is.
research articleMedia transformations, 2013, vol. 9, p. 102-116One of the measures which had a major impact in achieving a free press was the liberalization of the media market, and thus foreign trusts were able to enter the market. These trusts promoted a politics free from any political interests, and also being passed over in the property of certain persons or national groups. In the first years after 1989, foreign press trusts attempted to develop a powerful media network in the respective countries, aiming at making huge profits, since the “hunger for press” was so high that profit was guaranteed. After December 1989 in Romania, the state monopoly gradually vanished due to the appearance of some new press enterprises, even though, at an early stage, setting up a publication did not have the required legal framework. In 1990, it may be noticed that press was regrouped into two large categories: one consisted of headlines which belonged to the state and were later to undergo privatization, and the second one consisted of headlines created by private enterprises, individually or grouped. During the privatization process, various methods were used, according to case. As compared with the other countries in the region, Romania did not benefit from the contribution of foreign capital dedicated to the development of the mass-media system. Despite this lack of foreign capital into the mass-media market, Romanian undertakings were courageous enough to invest in this field, in which gains had become a certainty.
Editorial independence in the Latvian news media: ownership interests and journalistic compromisesPublicationresearch articleMedia transformations, 2013, vol. 9, p. 80-111Editorial independence in the each media organization is influenced both by external factors (sources of information, business partners, advertisers) and by internal factors (business interests and the goals of the media owner and the ma¬nagers of the outlet). There are at least three levels at which editorial independence can be evaluated in accordance with various players in the media environment – the level of the individual, the media organisation and the media industry. Editorial independence at each of these levels, in turn, depends on self-regulation and media regulation mechanisms. In this specific research, the question about attitude to editorial independence has been analyzed. With the goal to determine the conditions, which affect the level of editorial independence in the media firms, the formal and informal factors in the relationship between owners and editors have been evaluated. The data of the Latvian journalist survey has been compared with data acquired during semi-structured interviews with media owners and chief editors. In Latvia, the will of the owner to use media in his own interest both political and commercial is perceived as natural, as well as the belief of the owner that the opinions made by the editor must not interfere with the owner‘s business venture. However, even in editorial offices where strict limitations of editorial independence exist, journalists find a way to produce content independently. For journalists it doesn‘t mean the situation at the office, but their own individual work, defining the editorial independence as a chance freely produce specific content. Respondents in this survey think highly of the individual autonomy of journalists, but media workers clearly understand the limitations on editorial independence that are implemented by owners, directors or editors-in-chief. 158 137
research articleMedia transformations, 2013, vol. 9, p. 52-79The collapse of the Soviet Union started a new era of media transformations in Ukraine. The end of state-controlled media associated with censorship and informational isolation, first lessons of transition to market-driven media system, political turbulences and pressures, and the emergence of journalism professional values, new rhythms dictated by technologies – they all caused significant and rapid changes to journalism culture and media practice. This article is devoted to the issues of media freedom in contemporary post-Soviet Ukraine. Based on the interpretive and visual (collage elicitation) research, it suggests looking at the phenomenon of journalists’ freedom through the journalists’ considerations and as a part of individual ethics, and explores how journalists see their role within the media practices they experience. Ukrainian journalists cannot play the role of agents in democratic change. Justifying the experienced pressures by different, usually external, reasons, Ukrainian journalists tend to adjust ethical norms to existing practices. It causes further conflict between normative standards and their interpretation and implementation in practice that is, according to Voltmer and Dobreva (2009), typical for new democracies in which old structures and values coexist with new democratic norms. In this paper, first, a review of the path of journalism evolution in post-Soviet and contemporary Ukraine and the forces behind the pressures journalists experience. Further, I will refer to the particularities of normative and individual journalism ethics as they are discussed in theoretical works and, finally, present the results of qualitative study showing how journalists interpret their ethical choices and decisions, and, more importantly, perceive their professional roles when they discuss their experienced practices.
research articleMedia transformations, 2013, vol. 9, p. 30-51This paper briefly overviews the theory and history of investigative journalism and assesses the political impact of investigative reporting in post-communist Hungary on the basis of a series of semi-structured interviews with award-win¬ning investigative journalists.