The Media in Transitional Democracies
The Media in Transitional Democracies
The last quarter of a century has seen an unprecedented wave of democratization around the globe. In these transitions from authoritarian rule to a more democratic order, the media have played a key role both by facilitating, but frequently also inhibiting, democratic practices to take root. This book provides an accessible and systematic introduction to the media in transitional democracies. It analyses the problems that occur when transforming the media into independent institutions that are able to inform citizens and hold governments to account. The book covers the following topics: 
  • normative conceptions of media and democracy;
  • the role of the past in the transition process;
  • the internet as a new space for democratic change;
  • the persistence of political interference in emerging democracies;
  • the interlocking power of media markets and political ownership;
  • the challenges to journalistic professionalism in post-authoritarian contexts;
  • the role of the media in divided societies;
The book takes a global view by exploring the interplay of political and media transitions in different pathways of democratization that have taken place in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars who want a better understanding of the media outside established Western democracies. The book will also be of great value to policymakers and activists who are involved in strengthening the media in transitional democracies.
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  • May 2013
  • 204 pages
  • 160 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $72.75
  • 9780745644585
  • Paperback $28.00
  • 9780745644592
  • Open eBook $22.00
  • 9780745656540
Table of Contents
Detailed table of contents

1 Democracy and democratisation: one idea, many roads
2 Democratic media: a question of means and ends

3 Mass media and political change: technological structure and journalistic agency
4 Complex transitions and uncertain outcomes: the media and democratisation over time
5 Emerging media systems and the legacies of the past

6 Media and the state
7 Media markets
8 Political parallelism
9 Journalistic professionalism

About the Author

Katrin Voltmer is senior lecturer in the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds.

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Winner of the 2017 International Journal of Press/Politics Book Award

"Voltmer's comprehensive book skillfully integrates key concepts from media studies, journalism studies, and political science to illustrate the roles of various forms of media in different types of post-authoritarian democracies. Highly recommended"

"Voltmer offers the most comprehensive analysis of the media and political transitions that I have encountered"

"The scope of Voltmers book is astonishing ? it resembles an ocean where geographic magnitude meets with broad and fundamental themes. Voltmer navigates quite elegantly in this space posing remarkably clear questions and logical examples"
European Journal of Communication

'Voltmer has added a superb volume to the literature on democracies in transition: well-considered, original, systematic and a welcome combination of theory and acute observation.'
Monroe Price, University of Pennsylvania

'Voltmer has written a comprehensive, elegant and nuanced analysis about the state of media and democracy around the world. The book is a go-to reference for anyone interested in understanding the dynamic relationship between media and politics, and the obstacles for more plural, public-oriented media.'
Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University

'Comprehensive and contemporary, Voltmer's book is a valuable addition to the comparative media studies literature, and advances our understanding of the close and complex relationship between the media and new democracies.'
Daya Thussu, University of Westminster, London

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