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Democratization (2nd edn)

Christian W. Haerpfer, Patrick Bernhagen, Christian Welzel, and Ronald F. Inglehart
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date: 30 September 2023

p. 23916. The Medialocked

p. 23916. The Medialocked

  • Katrin Voltmer
  •  and Gary Rawnsley


This chapter examines the role of the media in processes of democratization. It considers the media’s political, economic, and social environment both in their domestic and international contexts. It also explains how new communications technologies have made it increasingly difficult for authoritarian regimes to hermetically seal their borders to prevent the flow of information in and out of the country. The most noticeable influence of international communications in the process of democratization is the ‘demonstration effect’. The chapter also discusses media-state relations, how market conditions and commercialization affect the media’s ability to fulfil their democratic role, and issues of journalistic professionalism and the quality of reporting. It argues that democracy and the media need each other.

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