Minna Aslama Horowitz

Global Challenges of National Media Landscapes: The Mapping Digital Media Project

Minna Aslama Horowitz, College of Professional Studies, Division of Mass Communication; Research Collaborator: Yannick Ilunga, University of Helsinki

Abstract
The Mapping Digital Media project, funded by the Open Society Foundations, is a global baseline research programme that assesses the opportunities and risks that are created for media by the following developments: the switch-over from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting; growth of new media platforms as sources of news; and convergence of traditional broadcasting with telecommunications.

This comparative subproject is focused on the so-called Media Reform issues and stakeholders in 35 countries around the world. It seeks to identify common concerns regarding media use and user-generated content, journalism, technology and related standards, media business models, and regulation. The findings indicate that despite the differences of media structures and regulation, as well as in the diffusion of technology, there are major challenges that are common to most countries and regions. Those include: debates around Internet Freedom of Expression, need for public (non-commercial) media and support for independent investigative journalism, hate speech, and concentration of cross-media ownership.

The Mapping Digital Media project aims to build bridges between researchers and policymakers, activists, academics and standard-setters across the world. It also builds policy capacity in countries where this is less developed, encouraging stakeholders to participate in and influence change.