Democratization, Role of the Media in

In contrast to earlier waves of democratization, the media are playing a major role in recent transitions to democracy. Two factors can be regarded responsible for this development that reflect both the beneficial and detrimental potential of the media in democratic politics.

First, innovations in communication technologies have created a transnational, and even global, public sphere. As national opposition movements can link easily with a global network of supporters and journalists, it has become increasingly difficult for political leaders of autocratic regimes to control political opposition and change. However, it has to be kept in mind that dictatorships cannot be brought down by the media alone. They are just one factor that contributes to the erosion of autocratic rule and can only unfold their potential ...

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