Scholars of international relations and international communications view the extent of media freedom from country to country as a key comparative indicator either by itself or in correlation with other indices of national political and economic development. This indicator serves as a bellwether for gauging the health and spread of democracy.
Historical Guide to World Media Freedom brings together comprehensive historical data on media freedom since World War II, providing consistent and comparable measures of media freedom in all independent countries for the years 1948 to the present. The work also includes country-by country summaries, analyses of historical and regional trends in media freedom, and extensive reliability analyses of media freedom measures. The book’s detailed information helps researchers connect historical measures of media freedom to Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press survey release, enabling them to extend their studies back before the 1980s when Freedom House began compiling global press freedom measures.
- A-to-Z, country-by-country summaries of the ebb and flow of media freedom are paired with national media freedom measures over time.
- Introductory chapters discuss such topics as the theoretical premises behind the nature and importance of media freedom, historical trends, and the challenges of coding for media freedom in a way that ensures consistency for comparison.
- Concluding material covers the historical patterns in media freedom, how media freedom tracks with other cross-national indicators, and more.
Accessible to students and scholars alike, this groundbreaking reference is essential to collections in political science, international studies, and journalism and communications.
Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Jenifer Whitten-Woodring is an Assistant Professor of Political Science Department at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research focuses on the causes and effects of media freedom and the role of media in repression and dissent. Her articles have been published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Political Communication. Prior to becoming a political scientist, Whitten-Woodring worked as a journalist in print and broadcast media and received five first place awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. She became particularly interested in media freedom and the relationship between media and politics when she was a journalism instructor and student newspaper adviser, first at Cedar Crest College and then at California State University at San Marcos. To pursue these research interests, she went back to school and completed her PhD in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southern California in 2010. She also has a master’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.
Douglas A. Van Belle, Victoria University at Wellington
Sent to Earth shortly before Krypton exploded, Doug VanBelle was raised by gorillas in Africa and then bitten by a radioactive spider while on a high school field trip. None of that helped much at all. He misspent his youth-and a bit more-trying to find a violent competitive sport that did not cause him serious harm, but the four times he broke his nose suggest that he is slow to learn. Somewhere in there, there was a bunch of degrees and some other learnin' stuff. He was awarded a full scholarship in Chemical Engineering, dropped out after the first year,
went through seven other majors, failed a creative writing elective, took a semester off to work in the Alaskan commercial fishing industry and somehow still managed to graduate on time. He is now a political science professor who writes science fiction and teaches in the media studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington. He is the former president of both the Foreign Policy Analysis and International Communication research sections of the International Studies Association, the Editor in Chief of Foreign Policy Analysis, and he has
written extensively on theories of political decision making and the role of news media in international relations.