‘GMaC-lunch’ lecture

A ‘GMaC-lunch’ lecture was organized on 15 May 2012 between noon and 2pm in cooperation with the Hans-Bredow-Institute where the lecture took a place. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz chaired the discussion and Dr. Manuel Puppis was the keynote speaker of the lecture.

In this lecture, Dr. Puppis discussed the following topic “Comparing Media Policy and Regulation”. In a detailed discussion, he focused on:

  1.   Communication Policy Research: State of the Art
  2.   Basics of Comparing Media Policy and Regulation
  3.   Comparative Media Policy Research: On Overview

As scholars are expected, among other things, to deliver fresh ideas to policy-makers, comparative research can play a crucial role in finding adequate ways to reform media regulation and governance mechanisms. Despite its undeniable merits for research and policy-makers, comparing media policy and regulation is subject to various pitfalls and limitations. Some of the benefits discussed in the lecture were: revealing patterns; advancing theories in general and identifying best-practice models and pointing at possible solutions in specific. However, the pitfalls and limitations discussed in the lecture were the lack of theory-driven research; mostly descriptive in general and in specific, documents unavailable or outdated; documents vs. regulatory reality; different institutional environments.

This lecture aimed at clarifying how exactly comparing media policy and regulation works in practice. It suggested four different steps of comparing media policy and regulation (selecting cases; identifying dimensions; collecting data; performing the actual comparison).

Dr. Puppis argued that future research should move beyond geographical boundaries (e.g., the nation-state) and media systems. Furthermore, he presented the most influential handbooks and key comparative studies. He also emphasized that past research has mainly been interested in instruments of broadcasting regulation in primarily Western countries, and that causal comparisons using macro-qualitative methods are virtually non-existent.

Dr. Manuel Puppis is a guest researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute and at the Graduate School Media and Communication.

– Wesam Amer –

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