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Title: Political contest and oppositional voices in post-conflict democracy: The impact of institutional design on government-media relations.
Authors: Rice, Charis
Somerville, Ian
First Published: 14-Nov-2016
Publisher: Sage
Citation: Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 2017, 22(1), pp. 92-110.
Abstract: The media are considered to play a crucial democratic role in the public sphere through representing political issues to the public (Gelders et al. 2007); facilitating deliberation, public opinion formation and political participation (Habermas 1989); acting as the 'watchdog' of powerful societal institutions (Norris 2000); and in assisting in the development of civil society in politically fragile and divided contexts (Taylor 2000). Journalists are expected to perform their news reporting within the framework of public interest values, such as objectivity, impartiality, public service, autonomy, and a critical questioning of power (Street 2001). Yet, it is acknowledged that political, cultural, organisational, economic, and relational factors affect this journalistic ideal (Davis 2010). In deeply divided, post-conflict societies, ethno-political antagonisms are fundamental to almost all aspects of civic life, yet there is limited research into how government-media relations operate in such contexts. Most media-politics studies focus on Western majoritarian parliamentary or presidential systems - that is, any system that has clear ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ after elections - and where institutional factors are considered, the focus is largely on how party systems impact on journalism (e.g. Çarkoğlu et al. 2014; Hallin and Mancini 2004; Sheafer and Wolfsfeld 2009). This focus however, neglects important institutional variables, such as mandatory coalition, proportionality and special cross-community voting arrangements, which pertain in more constitutionally complex democracies and which may have a significant impact on media-politics relations.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1940161216677830
ISSN: 1531-328X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016, Sage. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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