The last decade has seen tremendous change in the commercial news media that play a central role in political processes in democracies around the world, as well as considerable progress in cross-national comparative media research. But despite the impact of Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini’s book Comparing Media Systems, empirical research into the institutional and systemic preconditions of journalism and news production has not kept pace with the rapid changes in the media, nor with the advances made in other areas of comparative media research (such as studies of news media use, journalists’ role-conceptions, and of news content). In this piece, we call for further institutionally and system-oriented mixed-methods comparative research to advance our understanding of how current changes are impacting journalism, the news media, and ultimately politics in different settings. We suggest that existing conceptions of media systems as ideal types need to be supplemented with more empirically grounded and systematically comparative understanding of media systems as dynamic, evolving real types to capture how journalism is changing today.
International Journal of Press/politics, 2013, Vol 18, Issue 4, p. 383-391