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Media Policy in Small Emerging Democracies: Towards a Theory of Media Regulation

Principal Investigator (PI): Professor Ang Peng Hwa

Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI): Nil

Collaborators: Nil

Start Date: Oct 2014

End Date: Oct 2015

Abstract: This study builds upon media policy research in Bhutan and one on-going on Timor-Leste. Media policy assumes a unitary one-size-fits-all framework. More recent research is showing that the media policy for small countries has to be different from that of large countries.

This is because of the constraints of small media markets, an industry that thrives with scale. Small countries have to turn to foreign imports for media products while attempting to maintain their cultural autonomy and identity.

Competition rules in the media may be more important in small countries because players may have to share infrastructure such as printing presses and broadcast towers.

Slovenia and Macedonia have been chosen because they are the European counterpoise to Bhutan and Timor-Leste. These former provinces of Yugoslavia are reviewing their media policy.

Focused interviews with semi-structured questions will be conducted with some 15 government officials in their capacity as media regulators, media professionals, civil society participants and academics in each country.