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Historical Guide to World Media Freedom

Historical Guide to World Media Freedom
A Country-by-Country Analysis

June 2014 | 592 pages | CQ Press
Scholars of international relations and international communications view the extent of media freedom from country to country as a key comparative indicator either by itself or in correlation with other indices of national political and economic development. This indicator serves as a bellwether for gauging the health and spread of democracy.


Historical Guide to World Media Freedom is a new reference from CQ Press that brings together comprehensive historical data on media freedom since World War II. It provides consistent and comparable measures of media freedom in all independent countries for the years 1948 to the present. The work also includes country-by country summaries, analyses of historical and regional trends in media freedom, and extensive reliability analyses of media freedom measures.


The key information provided is designed to help researchers connect these historical measures of media freedom to Freedom House's annual Freedom of the Press survey release, enabling them to extend their studies back before the 1980s when Freedom House began compiling global press freedom measures.


The reference covers three major areas


-introductory chapters discuss the theoretical premises behind the nature and importance of media freedom, operational definitions of media freedom, the challenges of compiling reliable measures, historical trends, and the challenges of coding for media freedom in a way that ensures consistency for comparison.

-the heart of the book includes alphabetical, country-by-country summaries of the ebb and flow of media freedom paired with national media freedom measures over time. This is essential reading for researchers to connect the dots in understanding global media freedom.

-concluding material provides a detailed discussion of the historical patterns in media freedom, consideration of how media freedom tracks with other cross-national indicators, and discussion of the reliability of the information available on media freedom.


Accessible to both students and scholars alike, this groundbreaking new reference will be essential to collections in political science, international studies, and journalism and communications.

This work provides historical media freedom information for all independent countries since WW II. This guide begins by defining media freedom. This is no small task, but the authors use simple exemplar questions to categorize countries as either "not free," "imperfectly free," or "free." Impressive in its scope and accomplishment, this work is an excellent source for those interested in media freedom. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty.
W. J. Breitbach
Shasta College

Jenifer Whitten-Woodring

Jenifer Whitten-Woodring is an Assistant Professor of Political Science Department at University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research focuses on the causes and effects of media freedom and the role of media in repression and dissent. Her articles have been published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and Political Communication. Prior to becoming a political scientist, Whitten-Woodring worked as a journalist in print and broadcast media and received five first place awards from the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association. She became particularly interested in media freedom and the... More About Author

Douglas A. Van Belle

Douglas A. Van Belle is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He is currently examining how science fiction as thought experiment shapes the conceptual space between science and society. Other areas of research include simulations of international politics, rational choice and revolutionary collective action, global media freedom, the social nature of science and SETI, Palaeontology and scientific progress in the Social Sciences, media’s influence on foreign aid bureaucracies, international information flows and the necessary conditions for the adoption of disaster risk reduction policies, the role... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781608717651

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