This book compares media and political systems in East-Central as well as in Western Europe in order to identify the reasons possibly responsible for the extensive and intensive party control over the media. This phemen is widely experienced in many of the former communist countries since the political transformation. The author argues that differences in media freedom and in the politicization of the news media are rooted in differences in party structures between old and new democracies, and, tably, the fact that young parties in the new members of the European Union are short of resources, which makes them more likely to take control of and to exploit media resources. The book takes a closer look at five former communist countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia) to explain variations in media freedom and the politicization of the news media in and across countries. It offers general country descriptions as well as detailed case studies of the media policies and party backgrounds of two governments in each country.
Peter Bajomi-Lazar is Head of the Institute of Social Sciences at the Budapest Business School. He worked between 2009 and 2013 as a Senior Research Fellow on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, a European Research Council project based at Oxford University.