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Media Constrained by Context

International Assistance and the Transition to Democratic Media in the Western Balkans


Edited by Tarik Jusić and Kristina Irion

Tarik Jusić is Executive Director and Head of the Public Communication Program at the Center for Social Research Analitika (Sarajevo)

Kristina Irion is Marie Curie fellow, Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam, and Assistant Professor, Department of Public Policy at Central European University (Budapest)

This book compares the results of twenty years of international media assistance in the five countries of the western Balkans. It asks what happens to imported models when they are applied to newly evolving media systems in societies in transition.

Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia undertook a range of media reforms to conform with accession requirements of the European Union and the standards of the Council of Europe, among others. The essays explore the nexus between the democratic transformation of the media and international media assistance in these countries. The cross-national analysis concludes that the effects of international assistance are highly constrained by local contexts. In hindsight it becomes clear that escalating media assistance does not necessarily improve outcomes. In the western Balkans imported solutions have not been sensitive to local conditions, and international strategies have tended to be schematic, without strategic approaches to promote media policy stability, credible media reform or implementation.

The book offers valuable insights into the nature and effects of media assistance and the strategies of international aid agencies, local political forces, media professionals, civil society organizations and other actors.

ISBN 978-963-386-259-9
320 pages, cloth 2018
$60.00 / €50.00 / £45.00

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1: International Assistance and Media Democratization in the Western Balkans: A Theoretical Framework
Kristina Irion and Tarik Jusić

Chapter 2: Limited Assistance for Limited Impact—International Media Assistance in Albania
Ilda Londo

Chapter 3: Media Reform through Intervention: International Media Assistance in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tarik Jusić and Nidžara Ahmetašević

Chapter 4: Starting from Scratch: The Role of Media Assistance in the Establishment of Independent Media Institutions in Kosovo
Naser Miftari

Chapter 5: Assisting Media Democratization after Low-Intensity Conflict: The Case of Macedonia
Tamara Dimitrijevska-Markoski and Zhidas Daskalovski

Chapter 6: Media Reforms in Turbulent Times: The Role of Media Assistance in the Establishment of Independent Media Institutions in Serbia
Davor Marko

Chapter 7: Looking for Shortcuts? Assistance to—and Development of—Public Service Broadcasting in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania
Mark Thompson

Chapter 8: The Uncertain Future: Centers for Investigative Journalism in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia
Nevena Ršumović

Chapter 9: Building Media Systems in the Western Balkans: Lost between Models and Realities
Katrin Voltmer

Chapter 10: Conclusions: A Cross-National Comparison of International Assistance and Media Democratization in the Western Balkans
Kristina Irion and Tarik Jusić


About the Authors