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Comparative Government

Though Western media systems are going through a rapid and often painful transformation today with the rise of the internet and mobile platforms, the decline of paid print newspaper circulation, and the erosion of the largest free-to-air broadcast audiences, the ways in which governments provide direct and indirect support for the media have remained largely unchanged for decades. The bulk of the often quite considerable direct and indirect subsidies provided continue to go to industry incumbents coming out of broadcast and print, while innovative efforts and new entrants primarily based on new media receive little or no support. In central ways, public support for the media remains stuck in the twentieth century, and some parts of these support systems are …

Tel Aviv has known many hot summers in its history. But 2011 will probably be remembered as an exceptionally burning summer, one in which the city was flooded by tents occupied by young middle class residents, protesting against the rise in the cost of living.  As Or Rosenboim argues, these protests were characterised by the claim to “go beyond the political”, to ask for social justice, referring to the colloquial distinction between issues relating to security and defence, and particularly, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, regarded as “the political”, and “the social”. I wish to argue that  these protests are closely interlinked to questions of foreign policy even though they put in much time and effort to avoid them. In a video …

Since mid-July Israel has been going through a season of turmoil and protest. Most significantly, here, unlike both the Arab Spring movements and the London riots, there has been a violence-free protest. It all began when a young woman, Daphni Leef, had to leave her flat so that her landlord’s son could move in instead. Instead of looking for a new flat, she moved to a tent in Tel Aviv’s main street, ironically named ‘Rothschield Boulevard’. Ms Leef’s protest was not only her own: soon her tent was joined by many others who also wished to protest against the high cost of living in Tel Aviv. Within three weeks the protest swept the entire country. In as many as 3,000 …

In some ways this dichotomy might appear rather antiquated. After all isn’t everything online now and what difference do delivery systems make? But in reality we still see wide divergences between media organisations in terms of both consumption and production. First, consumption: The general tendency across many countries is that most people rely far more on TV than on the press for news. In the UK the disparity is very marked, with TV way out in front. Ofcom reported in 2009 that 74% of people in the UK used TV as their main source of UK news, way ahead of other news sources. More recent 2010 Ofcom figures surveying internet users showed TV ahead of the internet and newspapers as …

Last week, Professor Rehman Sobhan, Chairman of the Center for Policy Dialogue in Dhaka, Bangladesh, visited the UN Development Programme in New York City to discuss his most recent book. I had the opportunity to speak with Professor Sobhan about the motivation behind his work and learn about the years of field research that preceded it. Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Operationalizing an Agenda for Inclusive Development Across Southeast Asia is a culmination of Professor Sobhan’s efforts to understand the roots of economic exclusion across 5 countries over the past 4 years. At its core is Sobhan’s uncompromising insistence on identifying the source, as opposed to merely addressing the symptoms of poverty. According to Sobhan, poverty is not a social …

In the wake of the scandal currently afflicting Britain’s news industry, it is tempting to believe that anything might be better than putting our faith in the ethics and trustworthiness of professional journalists. So it is a good time to review what social media means for a news industry that is, to put it kindly, in a state of flux. As Tom Standage’s special report makes clear, social media and bloggers can contribute far more to news than was once thought. In recent years mainstream news organisations have often relied on them to break stories that professionals either couldn’t get to or didn’t know about, or to expose weaknesses or failures of interpretation amongst those same professionals. So there is …

In the US debate over news there is an assumption among many that the Internet is killing news organisations.   People point to the worrying figures about the numbers of journalists that have been laid off  (with net newsroom employment down by more than 10,000 since 2007), the difficulties facing city and state newspapers, and to the dramatic decline of ad revenues. There’s no denying that these developments are worrying. But focussing on the US picture only tells a very partial part of the story about the relation between the news industry and the internet.  The recent book that we produced at the Reuters Institute on The Changing Business of Journalism and its Implications for Democracy reveals that the US newspaper …

On June 21, at the Manor Road Building, Oxford University, Daniel Large and Luke Patey discussed the role of China and India in Sudan’s oil sector. This industry is of particular interest today, as on the 9th of July the country will split into Northern Sudan and Southern Sudan. The recent border clashes illustrate the lack of agreement between the two sides about the sharing of oil revenues. The two speakers situate this issue within an international context by contrasting the involvement of China and India and discussing the long-term prospects of Sudan’s oil industry, among other interesting questions. China’s involvement in Africa has become a hot topic in media and political discussions. This has concealed that of other Asian …