When the concept of a media system (coupled with the concept of a political system) was originally introduced to media and communication studies, this was new and exciting. In this paper, I ask how useful the concept has turned out to be over the decades. I argue that its use has led to four types of methodological concerns (methodological nationalism, politicization, structuralism and democratization). I also raise the question of how the concept of a network culture could challenge the concept of a media system, especially when studying media and communications in Central and Eastern Europe.
Terhi Rantanen is Professor in Global Media and Communications at The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is also Principal Co-Investigator of the ERC-funded project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe with the University of Oxford. Her publications include When News Was New (2009), The Media and Globalization (2005), The Global and the National. Media and Communications in Post-Communist Russia (2002), and The Globalization of News (edited with Oliver Boyd-Barrett) (1998).
The Holberg symposium 2012 was held in honour of Holberg Laureate Manuel Castells. The symposium is composed of lectures and talks by Manuel Castells, Göran Therborn, Helen Margetts, Andrew Chadwick, Terhi Rantanen, Annabelle Sreberny and William Dutton.