Comparing Nordic media systems: North between West and East?
(Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, Sweden)
ABSTRACT: The objective of this article is to further examine Nordic media systems beyond the tentative Democratic Corporativist Model introduced by media scholars Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini in their important work Comparing Media Systems. Three Models of Media and Politics. Furthermore, the article discusses distinct features of media and politics-relations in the Nordic countries and attempts to identify key factors constraining or promoting a possible liberalization or hybridization of the media systems in Nordic countries. The empirical data is based on a secondary analysis of available media statistics in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A comparative approach is used to analyze whether the Nordic countries actually meet the standards of the Democratic Corporativist Model or if they are drifting towards a more liberal media model. The main conclusion of this article is that the Nordic media systems are becoming more liberal due to diminished influences from governments and political parties. However, traditional Nordic media institutions remain strong and have been successful in adapting to new conditions thus creating new hybrids of the Nordic and the Liberal media models.