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Journalism-Transparency Globally Compared

Aktualisiert: 8. Juni 2021

Transparency is a concept that has become ubiquitous in the media and in civil society as well as in political and economic discourses in recent years. A new article addresses the way how it is applied in journalism around the globe.

With populist movements on the rise in many countries, digital warfare, and a new wave of political pressure on news makers around the globe, it is high time to pay more attention to the study of transparency in the news. Democratic societies must have a genuine interest in the credibility of media. If news outlets are no longer considered as trustworthy and thus powerful sources of news, their clout on institutions will shrink, and so will the media’s ability to hold institutions to account and serve as a “constraint on public officials”.

A commitment to transparency in reporting is of utmost importance in conflict-shaken societies and transition countries with vulnerable social frameworks, too. In media markets with a record of state interference into news content, private news outlets may need to make even more transparency efforts to prove their trustworthiness and independence and to counteract the use of the shaky term “fake news” by many authoritarian leaders to blame the media for all evil. In tightly regulated media markets with limited or non-existent media competition and a dominance of state media representing authoritarian government, news media may have yet to become accustomed to the idea of explaining itself and its practices.

However, mass communication research has produced only very few studies on media transparency beyond ‘the West’ so far. The article published by Judith Pies and colleages collect and analyse research results on media transparency across media systems and journalism cultures. With spaces of freedom for journalists currently shrinking and a potential shift away from liberalism to political parallelism in many countries in the ‘Global North’, the comparative analysis of transparency practices in the ‘Global South’ seems even more important.

Citation: Bastian, M; S. Fengler; J. Pies; D. Speck (2021) Blind Spots. Shedding Light on Media Transparency Research Across World Regions. In: Fengler, S.; Berger, S.; Owetschkin, D. (Eds.) Cultures of Transparency: Between Promise and Peril. New York, Routledge, p. 93-107.


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