Comparing Media Systems: Re-evaluating the Role of the Public Media in the Digital Age

By Carolina Oliveira Matos.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is the continuation of my previous PhD research, Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil, which was published by Lexington Books (March 2008), and is an investigation of the role of the mainstream media in Brazil and in Latin America in the re-democratization phase following the end of the dictatorship in the mid-80’s. Comparing Media Systems is a comparative research analysis which aims to be an initial examination of the state of the public media structures in Europe in contrast to the strengthening of the public media platform in emerging democracies like Brazil, and seeks to investigate how public communications can still have a role in enhancing cultural and educational levels as well as promoting wider social and political inclusion. It aims to assess the ways in which such an initiative can contribute to the fortification of spaces for debate and the further construction of a complex communication system that can attend to multiple and diverse publics in Latin America. In the context of decline of the PSB tradition in the UK due to digitalisation and market expansionism, this project focuses on the ways in which the public media - attached to a revised understanding of the role that the public sphere ideal can still have in the 21st century - can contribute to deepen media democratisation in the region. These nations have a weak public sector and are seeking to fortify multiple public spheres in order to expand citizens’ information rights, creating the means for cultural emancipation and providing less privileged groups access to quality information and debate.

Keywords: Public Service Broadcasting, Public Interest, Regulation, Media Policy, Uk Media, Brazilian Media, Globalization

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.203-220. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.299MB).

Dr. Carolina Oliveira Matos

LSE Fellow in Political Communications, Media and Communications Department, London School of Economics, London, UK

Matos obtained her PhD in Media and Communications with no corrections (thesis: Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil) in January 2007 from Goldsmiths. Her supervisor was Professor James Curran. Her thesis is an investigation of the role of the mainstream media in the advancement of democracy in the aftermath of the dictatorship. It focuses on the analysis of the media coverage of political and presidential campaigns and looks at over two decades of contemporary Brazilian and Latin American history in the context of the process of increasing Americanisation of international media and the re-workings of social-democratic politics in Europe. Matos’ position in the LSE involves teaching on the courses Media and Democracy and Political Communications as well as pursuing further work on her new research project on public media systems in Latin America in comparative perspective to the UK and North America. She is a former print journalist who has worked with international news, culture and political affairs for newspapers, magazines and organisations both in Brazil and in the UK, and which have included Reuters and UNESCO. Her research is in the area of global media and democracy, the role of the media in social and political change in developing countries, media and elections, political journalism and the public media, with a particular interest in global citizenship, Latin American and British politics and the history of the media. She has attended various conferences and given papers in Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt and the US. In 2005, she received a grant from the Swedish Stint Foundation to pursue a one month research project on social-democratic politics and the Scandinavian media at the Media and Communications Department of Orebro University.


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