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THISAM Talks: "Media Systems and Press Freedom"

Professor Dr. Christoph Schmidt, Head of the Academic Department at Deutsche Welle Akademie talked about Media Systems and Press Freedom.

Key points by Ioanna Georgia Eskiadi 

Media systems are complex and when analysing them, we should consider the diversity of media systems in the world. Because they are quite different due to the political context, the media context and the legal context. Also, the lifestyle, the journalistic culture, the habits are not the same. There are a lot of criteria which influence the press freedom within a country. There is a relative worse situation is some countries. The best situation in media systems and press freedom is in Norway, Finland and Sweden and the difficult one in Africa, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Eritrea. An example is the media legislation and political pressure in Uganda. Even though everyone should have the write to express their opinion and be independent and free in the media, they are undermining the guarantee of freedom of expression. Journalists continuously are being harassed. In Laos there is strong censorship and self-censorship. Censorship refers to checking everything before publishing and self-censorship to the intentionally or voluntarily change of your information. Venezuela is problematic due to the unrest, media crisis and economic crisis. So, journalists are not working with freedom. In USA, the problem is the phenomenon of ownership concertation since some media have more than 15% in the market. This leads to political polarization in media. The commercial orientation is the most important and differs with some European countries where there is the idea of having quality journalism. An example to follow is Norway, one of the richest countries in the Europe, the political rights and civil liberties are high. 

The comparative analysis in communication is still in its infancy in comparison for instance with comparative politics. Most of literature on media is highly ethnocentric. Comparing media systems can draw attention to aspects that may be taken for granted and difficult to detect when focusing on the national case. Comparing media systems by continent is problematic. Also, media systems can be analysed by topic. The press always takes on the form and coloration of the social and political structures within which it operates. The media system is derived by the political system. 

The 5th Thessaloniki International Summer Academy on Media is organized by School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Aristotle University Thessaloniki (AUTh), Jean Monet of European Union Public Diplomacy along with other partners  under the title: “New trends in Media and Journalism: Turning crisis into opportunity”.

 Special emphasis is given on the topics:
1. Disinformation, Science Journalism / News Literacy
2. Crisis Communication
3. New business models in Media Organisations