Broadcasters and Citizens in Europe (Book)

Trends in Media Accountability and Viewer Participation

European media is experiencing a paradoxical form of growth: as media outlets surge and new technologies develop, major broadcasting companies are consolidating like never before. In Broadcasters and Citizens in Europe, an esteemed group of contributors look at what this paradox might mean for the European community. Are broadcasting audiences better informed than they were twenty years ago? And how has the advent of the European Union changed media practices? This essential volume explores a new media world in the context of a continent in flux.

“The book is a good source of information about institutional arrangements developed in European countries in the field of audio-visual policy. It gives an interesting and well-written account of how particular European countries and the European Union try to deal with different problems deriving from the ethical dilemma inscribed in the construction of media systems.”—Magdalena Rek, Journal of Contemporary European Studies

“Communication scholars will benefit from the focus on research from across Europe along with the theoretical implications. For media policy-makers and members of civic organisations, the taxonomy of instruments will provide an overview for possible policy development. Finally, the clarity with which this book is written will help college students understand the field of media and social responsibility.”— Jarim Kim, Media International Australia


Broadcasting is arguably the most influential and powerful industry operating today. The media impose an inescapable presence in contemporary life and infuse all areas of public communication. But what is the quality of the relationship between ‘broadcaster’ and ‘citizen’? Do the media and media authorities take the audience's interests seriously into account? Do audiences have real opportunities to express themselves? Are citizens well informed and educated about the social, the cultural and the civic role that media can play? In this book, five authors present the main results of an extensive programme of research that was financed by the European Commission. The study was conducted in 29 European countries and each author analyses European trends from different but complementary perspectives.

Paolo Baldi, the former head of research at the European Broadcasting Union, is a media consultant in Geneva, Switzerland.Uwe Hasebrink is director of the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, and Professor of Empirical Communication Research at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

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