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Free, Accessible Media and Quality of Government

Working paper
Authors Mathias A. Färdigh
Publisher Göteborgs universitet. The Quality of Government Institute
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Language en
Keywords Media freedom, media accessibility, quality of government, media systems, political empowerment
Subject categories Political Science, Media and Communications


In contrary to what might be expected from the results of previous research conducted on media freedom, there is a variation in both perceived corruption and quality of government (QoG) among countries with free media. This paper suggests that there is a need for complementary and more precise measures of media system characteristics in order to understand the role of the media in the fight against corruption and in promoting QoG. The purpose of this study is therefore to develop and use alternative media system measures to empirically test the relationship between media sys- tem characteristics and QoG and in what way media system characteristics can explain variations in QoG across 36 European countries. The results show that media freedom is a basic condition that is essential for media to play any role in promoting QoG. However, the results of this study also imply that accessibility and citizens’ ability to obtain information delivered by the free media are at least as important.

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