The Director of the Centre for Media, Data, and Society, Marius Dragomir, has recently published a study introducing a new tool to examine the editorial independence of state media and the influence of state media. The results show that nearly 80% of 546 state-administered media companies in 151 countries lack editorial independence.
The independent public media model is on the verge of extinction in several countries, claims the latest study of Marius Dragomir, the Director of the Centre for Media, Data and Society. The author examines the latest global trends in state media, focusing on the way these operations are funded and managed and how their editorial autonomy is protected.
Dragomir argues that in order to effectively study the impact of state media, we have to move away from the usual reductive dichotomy and identify and examine the variants that exist between the two extremes: the state-controlled media model and the independent public service media model.
For this purpose, he introduces the State Media Matrix, a typology that allows for the classification of state media according to three main factors that affect the independence of state media: funding, ownership/governance, and editorial autonomy.
The author examines 546 state-administered media companies in 151 countries and claims that almost 80% of them lack editorial independence. More than 80% of the 436 media outlets whose editorial agenda is controlled by the government fall into the category of state-controlled media.
Using the above-mentioned main factors, Dragomir distinguishes between seven state media models. These models are characterised by various degrees of independence. State-controlled media and independent public media occupy the positions at the two ends of the spectrum.
In the case of the former, media outlets are characterised by a dependency on state funding. In many cases, they are managed by government-appointed bodies and lack editorial autonomy.
The state-controlled model is present all over the world from China to several Southeast Asian, Central and Eastern European and Middle Eastern nations,
24 emphasises. In contrast, the independent public media model is really rare and can only be found in countries like the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and a few nations in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.
The five “hybrid” models can be grouped into two categories based on their degree of editorial independence: hybrid independent media and captured media.
Hungarian media outlets mainly belong to the captured private media model.
This means that the companies are privately owned, their boards are not appointed by the government, but they are editorially controlled by state authorities. According to Dragomir,
the Hungarian government controls approximately 500 media outlets through a foundation (Central European Press and Media Foundation) that can supposedly be linked to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Officially, these companies are not owned by the state; nonetheless, many of them receive money from the government in the form of state advertising. The captured private media model often occurs in countries that have a tradition of state interventionism in the media, such as Morocco, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Qatar, Turkey or Serbia.
Source: 24.hu, cmds.ceu.edu