Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HALLIN & MANCINI, The North / Central European or Democratic Corporatist Model By: Mark A. Baker II.

Map of North/ Central Europe (

The sixth chapter of Comparing Media Systems, by Hallin and Mancini focuses on what they label to be the “Democratic Corporatist Model” which includes Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Hallin and Mancini site that these countries are grouped together because of history “strife” amongst one another and by influence of the German languages on many of the regions languages which consists of; Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. One of the important characteristics in which Hallin and Mancini attribute in grouping these countries together is “Colossal War of Propaganda” (Anderson 1983) which is in direct relation to Martin Luther’s challenge to the then dominating and hierarchical Catholic Church.

Photo of Martin Luther (

Despite the plethora of differences that exists between the countries grouped in the “Democratic Corporatist Model”, Hallin and Mancini are able to analyze and find three characteristics that are shared by their media systems which can be summarized in terms of, “Three Coexistences”, that are distinct to this model. The first coexistence is a high degree of political parallelism with a strong mass circulation press. This is in relation to media in these countries often expressing partisan and social divisions. Concurrently, countries such as Norway, Finland, and Sweden that are included in the “Democratic Corporatist Group” have some of the highest circulation of Press. The second coexistence is a high level of journalistic professionalism, in which Hallin and Mancini attribute to the “autonomy” of the enterprise of journalism. The third and last coexistence is the tradition of the “limits of the role of the State”. This is in relation to the strong belief in freedom of the press and the idea of the press being an autonomous entity separate from the state.
The Early Roots of Print Press- Hallin and Mancini attribute the growth of print press to several different factors. The first factor can be attributed to the rising forces of “liberalism” which is in direct relation to the notion of Freedom of Press. An example given is the country Sweden and how in 1776 its Constitution recognized the rights to freedom of the press. The second factor is the rise of mass literacy, which can be attributed to the Protestant Reformation and there campaigns centering on the issue of “organized literacy”. The rise of print press is significant in the countries in the “Democratic Corporatist Model”, because of the spread of knowledge and information was no longer controlled by the Aristocracy or Catholic Church this lead to a “Secularization of Media”. From the birth of mass literacy developed the birth of the system of a mass market press.

Picture of Gutenberg Print Press (

Important Time Line: Regarding the History of the Print Press in Relation to the Protestant Reformation:
YouTube Video: (Revolutionary 1455 Gutenberg Print Press)
Between Market and Partisanship- Hallin and Mancini link the growth of early newspapers to the Protestant Reformation movement. In Chapter 6 Elizabeth Einstein (1979:406) links “Protestants to Printers” and “observes that Protestantism was the first movement of any kind religious or secular, to use news presses for overt propaganda and agitation against an established institution” An example of a technique used by Protestants to arouse popular support was “Pamphleteering”- which was directed towards gaining support and aimed at a certain demographic of readers. Hallin and Mancini also, discuss the role in which segmented pluralism, exists in the countries included in the “Democratic Corporatist Model”. The Term segmented pluralism, can be linked to the idea of the press being used as a tool for identifying with a certain organization or social group. This tractions into another term, “Party Press Parallelism” in which different papers identify with a political party. An example from the reading given would be Denmark’s “four paper system”. In relation to “Party Press Parallelism” Hallin and Mancini discuss the rise of “omnibus”, “catchall” or “tabloid” papers. Particularly in Sweden in the 1920’s there was a rise in non-politically orientated and non sensationalist tabloids which was read by the growing middle class population.
The State and the Media- The state in the “Democratic Corporatist Model” allowed freedom of written press, because they were concerned about the rise another “Totalitarian Regime”. However it is important to note that the state in these countries had a strong presence in other social aspects. The state in their attempt to protect the freedom of press had significant levels of regulation pertaining to hate groups. I.e. “Ban on Nazi Propaganda or any extreme propaganda which targeted a specific group of people”. The issue of subsidies is mentioned in contrast to the issue of the state trying to have a “watch dog role”.

Example of Banned Propaganda in the Written Media (

However despite the belief in the freedom of written press, the state b/c of past Nazi propaganda had strict regulations on Broad Cast media because of the past chilling effect in had in the Hitler Regime. (YouTube Example of Anti Semitic Propaganda)
Lastly, Hallin and Mancini discuss in relation to “Professionalism” the idea of journalists being autonomous entities not subject to external influences which is found in other areas of Europe.

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