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COMM323: Comparative Media Systems

Unit 4: European Media Systems: Hallin & Mancini’s Models   In this unit, you will learn about the major influences that shape media systems in North and Central Europe, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean.  You will be introduced to Hallin & Mancini’s comparative media system models, which sets the research tradition for comparative media system analysis.  The Hallin & Mancini model started this tradition by proposing four dimensions: media market structure, political parallelism, professionalism in journalism, and the role of the state.  These four dimensions will be the key components within this unit.  We will read a research article comparing online newspapers in different European countries using the Hallin & Mancini model to develop a sense of the four key dimensions as well as the three models identified using the four dimensions.  We will then look into each of the sample countries within the three models to take a close look of their media system using the Hallin & Mancini model.  Our reading experience will be diverse: we will read news articles as well as encyclopedia entries when we delve into country-specific discussions.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 15 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 6 hours

☐    Subunit 4.1.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.1.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2 : 6 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2.1: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2.2: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.3: 3 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Explain the four dimensions of Hallin & Mancini’s framework. - Analyze specific European countries in view of relevant Hallin & Mancini model. - Evaluate Hallin & Mancini’s models in the context of contemporary media.

4.1 The Hallin & Mancini Study   4.1.1 Framework and Models   - Reading: Academia.edu: Hartmut Wessler et al.’s “Comparing Media Systems and Media Content: Online Newspapers in Ten Eastern and Western European Countries” Link: Academia.edu: Hartmut Wessler et al.’s “Comparing Media Systems and Media Content: Online Newspapers in Ten Eastern and Western European Countries” (HTML or PDF)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the research
article.  This reading is significant for our discussion in this
chapter for two reasons.  To begin with, this article presents a
detailed introduction of the Hallin & Mancini comparative media
system model, including the four major dimensions: maturity of media
market, political parallelism, journalistic professionalism, and
state intervention.  Secondly, this article shows us how we may use
the Hallin & Mancini model to approach European countries’ media
systems.  There are other important elements in the discussion as
well, particularly in regards to the “vertical Europeanization” and
“horizontal Europeanization” for Eastern European countries that
joined the European Union after the 1990’s.  This reading will set
solid foundation for us to make sense of the Hallin & Mancini model
and capture some of the unique characteristics of European media
systems.  It is helpful if you take notes while reading this
article.  For example, what is the definition of the four important
dimensions of a media system according to the Hallin & Mancini
model?  What are the sample countries with liberal media systems? 
What are the sample countries with Democratic-corporatist model? 
What are the sample countries with polarized-pluralist media
systems?  

 Reading this article should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.1.2 Americanization, Globalization, and Secularization   - Reading: Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians: Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini’s “Americanization, Globalization and Secularization: Understanding the Convergence of Media systems and Political Communication in the U.S. and Western Europe” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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4.2 In-Country Examples for the Hallin & Mancini Models   4.2.1 Ireland and the UK: the Liberal Model   - Reading: The Guardian: “History of the Guardian” Link: The Guardian: “History of the Guardian (HTML)

 Instructions: Click on the link above and read about the history of
 the *Guardian*.  We talked about the history of early American
colonial newspapers.  When was the earliest one established? 
According to the Hallin & Mancini comparative media system model,
liberal countries usually feature a high degree of political
parallelism: the degree in which the press reflects the major
political currents in society.  The newspaper described its initial
intention as “the paper’s intention was the promotion of the liberal
interest in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre and the growing
campaign to repeal the Corn Laws that flourished in Manchester
during this period.”  Do you think this description fits into Hallin
& Mancini’s liberal model?  Why or why not?  The Hallin & Mancini
model applauds liberal countries for their strong
professionalization of journalists.  The newspaper described its
strategy coping with the newspaper price war in the 1990’s as
“[remaining] at full price, investing resources in journalism and
distancing itself from the price war through distinctive and
innovative marketing, product development and consistently breaking
big stories.”  Do you think this approach resonates with Hallin &
Mancini’s liberal model?  Can you find other evidences in the
newspaper’s history that also resonate with the liberal model?  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Guardian: Seumas Milne’s “Don’t lose sight of why the U.S. is out to get Julian Assange” Link: The Guardian: Seumas Milne’s “Don’t lose sight of why the U.S. is out to get Julian Assange” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the news article about the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange.  You probably are familiar with the impact that Assange had on the global political arena with the biggest leak of secret government documents in history.  However, what we plan to focus on for this story is the liberal frame through which free, independent opinions are expressed by citing multiple opposing sources and caters to different interest groups.  What are the different interest groups?  Would you say that the publication of a story like this imply the “liberal” state of the media outlet?

    Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.2 The Mediterranean: The Polarized Pluralist Model   - Reading: European Journalism Centre: Elisa Giomi’s “Media Landscape: Italy” Link: European Journalism Centre: Elisa Giomi’s “Media Landscape: Italy” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the article. 
You may want to go over the characteristics of  the Polarized
Pluralist Model before moving on.  The polarized-pluralist countries
are characterized by a media system under the influence of an
elite-oriented press, low newspaper circulation, and a strong
television programming presence.  Do you think these characteristics
are produced by the Italian media system?  What are the specific
examples?  It is helpful if you take notes and fit in specific
statistics or examples.  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Irish Times: “Italian Media Opens Up in Berlusconi’s Wake” Link: Irish Times: “Italian Media Opens Up in Berlusconi’s Wake” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the article.  This article describes how the Italian media opened up after Berlusconi stepped down.  Some important facts to remember: what happened to Berlusconi’s television company, Mediaset?  What kind of changes took place to the voting process on the membership of Authority of Communications Guarantees (Agcom)?  What kind of political or social implications did this change have?  Answering these questions helps us understand that the Hallin & Mancini comparative media system model is not static but rather fluid; media systems in any given country can develop if sufficient trigger events occur.  Finally, notice that this is published in an Irish newspaper.  Where does Ireland stand in the Hallin & Mancini model?

    Reading this webpage should take approximately 1 hour.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.3 Northern and Central Europe: The Democratic Corporatist Model   - Reading: European Journalism Centre: Werner A. Meier’s “Media Landscape: Switzerland” Link: European Journalism Centre: Werner A. Meier’s “Media Landscape: Switzerland” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please click on the link above and read the blog. 
Again, taking notes while reading should help you stay on track with
the major dimensions within the Hallin & Mancini model.  For
instance, the Swiss film industry depends heavily on public
subsidy.  In 2010 the Federal Office of Culture has a budget of 10.8
million euro to support film projects.  Film makers also receive
local government support.  How does this differ from the case of
liberal model, like the UK or Canada, in terms of state intervention
of market maturity?  While using Switzerland as one example,
questions like this help you effectively evaluate media systems in
other Central and Northern European countries where democratic
Corporatist Model has also been identified.  

 Reading this webpage should take approximately 2 hours.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

4.3 Unit 4 Discussion   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “COMM323 Course Discussion Board”

 Instructions: After reviewing the unit materials, please post and
respond to the following topics on the course discussion board. 
Feel free to start your own thread or respond to other students’
postings.  

-   What is the definition of the four important dimensions of a
    media system according to the Hallin & Mancini model?  What are
    the sample countries with liberal media systems?  What are the
    sample countries with Democratic-corporatist model?  What are
    examples of countries with polarized-pluralist media systems?
-   The Swiss film industry depends heavily on public subsidy.  In
    2010 the Federal Office of Culture has a budget of 10.8 million
    euro to support film projects.  Film makers also receive local
    level government support.  How does this differ from the case of
    liberal model, like that of the UK or Canada in terms of state
    intervention of market maturity?

Posting and responding on the discussion board should take
approximately 3 hours.