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Selling short media accountability? The importance of addressing market-driven claims on media freedom

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Eva-Maria Svensson
Maria Edström
Andrew T. Kenyon
Publicerad i ECREA Pre-conference: Media Accountability at the Crossroads: European Challenges and Perspectives at the University of New York in Prague (Czech Republic), 8th November 2016
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för journalistik, medier och kommunikation (JMG)
Juridiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord media accountability, marketdriven, democracydriven, freedom of expression
Ämneskategorier Juridik, Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap


Media accountability is an important building block in the democratic rationale for free speech. The value of media accountability for free speech is two-fold. The most addressed value in the media studies literature concerns media’s ability to be accountable in relation to their stakeholders (von Krogh 2012, Fengler et al. 2014, Bardoel & D´Haenens 2004, Bertrand 2000, McQuail 1997). Another value is media’s obligation to seek to hold the powerful to account (e.g. Kenyon et al. forthcoming 2016). The former relates to the trustworthy-ness of the media; the latter invokes perhaps more directly the democratic function of journalism. This paper explores the idea that these two aspects of media accountability should be addressed together, using the example of advertising and editorial content in contemporary media. This broader approach to media accountability clearly involves both self-regulation and legislation—and not self-regulation as merely an alternative to legislation or a method of avoiding legislation. The two techniques operate on somewhat distinct areas, and together they aim to support the values of media accountability in a democratic society. Increased market pressures mean an area worthy of further examination when addressing media accountability is the relationship between journalism and advertising. We have previously defined this challenge as a tension between market-driven and democracy-driven freedom of expression (Edström & Svensson 2016). The distinction signifies two ideal types of rationalities and assumptions.

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