• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Scholars of international relations and international communications view the extent of media freedom from country to country as a key comparative indicator either by itself or in correlation with other indices of national political and economic development. This indicator serves as a bellwether for gauging the health and spread of democracy.

Historical Guide to World Media Freedom is a new reference from CQ Press that brings together comprehensive historical data on media freedom since World War II. It provides consistent and comparable measures of media freedom in all independent countries for the years 1948 to the present. The work also includes country-by country summaries, analyses of historical and regional trends in media freedom, and extensive reliability analyses of media freedom measures.

The key information provided is designed to help researchers connect these historical measures of media freedom to Freedom House's annual Freedom of the Press survey release, enabling them to extend their studies back before the 1980s when Freedom House began compiling global press freedom measures.

The reference covers three major areas

-introductory chapters discuss the theoretical premises behind the nature and importance of media freedom, operational definitions of media freedom, the challenges of compiling reliable measures, historical trends, and the challenges of coding for media freedom in a way that ensures consistency for comparison.

-the heart of the book includes alphabetical, country-by-country summaries of the ebb and flow of media freedom paired with national media freedom measures over time. This is essential reading for researchers to connect the dots in understanding global media freedom.

-concluding material provides a detailed discussion of the historical patterns in media freedom, consideration of how media freedom tracks with other cross-national indicators, and discussion of the reliability of the information available on media freedom.

Accessible to both students and scholars alike, this groundbreaking new reference will be essential to collections in political science, international studies, and journalism and communications.

The Evolution (and Devolution) of Media Freedom Since World War II: Introduction
The evolution (and devolution) of media freedom since World War II: Introduction

This chapter features country profiles on how media freedom has evolved (or devolved) since 1948 for all 196 independent countries that were in existence at the end of 2013.1 Here we provide some details about the information used to create these profiles.

The media freedom data from 1948 to 1994 are from the Van Belle Global Press Freedom Data. The data from 1995 to 2001 are from an update prepared for this volume. For the most part, the data from 2001 to 2012 are drawn from Freedom House's Reports on Freedom of the Press. Yet, in gathering information to provide narratives on the ...

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