National Regulatory Authorities and Types of Democracies
The regulation of broadcasting is one of the topics that best reflects the interplay between the exercise of power and control. By analysing all regulatory systems presently in existence , would it be possible to extract a model or a form of organisation that would best guarantee independence from political pressure? Such a line of research is of fundamental importance because it may provide an explicit picture of developments in broadcasting regulation. In this regard, this project presents a framework for systematic comparative research on the relationship between media systems and political systems, focusing on how democratic regimes determine the structure of national regulatory authorities (NRAs). Analysing two indicators, the funding and appointment of NRAs, we explore the extent to which typologies of national regulatory authorities can be found in certain types of democracies. Furthermore, we wish to identify the implications of broadcasting regulatory regimes in countries belonging to different political systems and the varying degrees of regulators` independence. This study examines typical spheres of supervision and how the supervisory bodies operate within those spheres. We use a comparative approach based on the three-way classification of media systems set out in Mancini’s comparative framework (2004): the Liberal model (Britain, the US, Canada and Ireland), the Democratic Corporatist model (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland) and the Polarised Pluralist model (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain). The approach is inductive, and we expect that examination of the various broadcasting systems will highlight both common elements and differences. We will select individual regulations and developments within the three media systems, with the intention of providing a comprehensive and detailed description. Keywords: media policy, broadcasting regulation, democracy.