Media, Communication and Democracy: Global and National Environments


SPECIAL ISSUE OF Communication, Politics and Culture (Issue 45.1, July 2012)

Latest update: 01 October 2011


On 31 August – 02 September 2011, the EU Centre at RMIT University with the School of Media and Communication (RMIT) and Media and Democracy in Eastern Europe Research Project (MDCEE) (University of Oxford, UK) held the Centre's inaugural annual conference entitled Media, Communication and Democracy: Global and National Environments.

Panels, papers and debate focused on media, communication and democracy in the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe, the Asia Pacific region, Latin America or Africa, as well as the established areas of Europe and Australia. In a world of regular, unforeseen crises and growing power of media owners, online and otherwise, various questions about the implications for democratic processes were explored and debated amongst the group of experienced academics and practitioners attending the conference.

Key participants

  • Keynote Speaker, Wednesday 31 August 2011 Professor Paolo Mancini, University of Perugia; Visiting Fellow with the ERC-funded project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Keynote Speaker, Friday 02 September 2011 Associate Professor Ingrid Volkmer, Head of the Media and Communication Programme, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.
  • Professor Radoslaw Markowski, Head of the Comparative Politics Department, Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences; Chair of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities; Visiting Fellow with the ERC-funded project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Professor Jacques Rupnik, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Research (CERI), Science Po, Paris; Visiting Professor, College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium.
  • Jacek ┼╗akowski (PDF 266 KB), Director of the Institute of Journalism, Collegium Civitas, Warsaw; columnist with Poland’s weekly Polityka.
  • Professor Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics, University of Oxford; Coordinator of the ERC-funded project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Dean of the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University.


Wednesday 31 August, 2011

Opening Keynote Address and Public Lecture: Media Fragmentation, Party System and Democracy

Presented by Professor Paulo Mancini, University of Perugia.

6:00pm at the State Library of Victoria Theatrette, Swanston Street Melbourne VIC 3000

Download Professor Mancini’s slides from his presentation (PDF 336 KB).

A podcast of the Public Lecture including comments by Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald and Professor Jan Zielonka and questions from the audience, will be available shortly.

Professor Mancini also conducted an interview with Carlo Oreglia from the Italian Language Programme at SBS Radio. You can listen to the interview (in Italian) at SBS.

Thursday 01 September

The following presentations can be downloaded:

Theme 1:Focus on the EU

Natalia Chaban, Serena Kelly and Jessica Bain: Local hooks and regional anchors: media representation of the EU in the Pacific (PDF 934 KB).

Eva Polonska-Kimunguyi: “Europeanization” as a vehicle for globalisation of the media (PDF 175 KB).

Eva Polonska-Kimunguyi and Hoe-Yeong Loke: Illiberal media control and politics in globalised contexts: Hungary and Singapore (PDF 456 KB).

Theme 2:Journalism and Change

Alex Wake: Creating watchdogs: the state of the media in the Solomon Islands (PDF 1.6 MB).

Theme 3:Shaping, Responding, Using

Norhayati Abd Manaf: “I reserve my right to Tweet”: an analysis of the use of Twitter among Malaysian politicians (PDF 589 KB).

Chengju Huang: Voice of china’s emerging hawks? a critical analysis of the global times (PDF 290 KB).

Amany Mason Elhedeny and Dina Mansour: The Middle East between digital democracy and digital society: Egypt as a case study (PDF 449 KB).

Theme 4:Wikileaks (Plenary)

Jason Wilson: Wikileaks, journalism, celebrity and authenticity (PDF 315 KB).

Brian McNair: Wikileaks and the consequences of chaos (PDF 2.25 MB).

Luke Heemsbergen: Vigilance to vigilantes and back again: designing radical transparency in the digital world (PDF 4.5 MB).

Theme 5:Mediating Publics

Andres Joesaar: Different ways, same outcome.

Corinna Arndt: Public broadcasting and politicisation in post-apartheid South Africa (PDF 261 KB).

Theme 6:Media and Religion

Peter Horsfield: New religious “prosperity” movements and their social and economic implications for the political process (PDF 1 MB).

Rizwana Yusuf: Islam, democracy and the media (PDF 386 KB).

Theme 7:Texts of Political Communication

Tomaz Dezelan and Alem Maksuti: Election posters as a medium of political communication in Slovenia: an informative or persuasive tool? (PDF 1.5 MB)

Tendai Chari: Political Party advertising and the dynamics of electoral politics in a changing Zimbabwe (PDF 6.4 MB).

Theme 8:Rhetorics and Battles

Anita Samardzija and Shanthi Robertson: Contradictory populism online: nationalist and globalist discourses on Serbian radical party websites (PDF 4.3 MB).

Michelle Natolo: Media wars in Latin America: feuds, seizures and reforms (PDF 574 KB).

Theme 9:Media, Politics, Journalism

Adam Szynol: Polish media 22 years after socio-political breakthrough – the road to professionalization and democratisation (PDF 225 KB).

Teodora Crisia Miroiu: Politics, media and democracy: a Romanian case study (PDF 243 KB).

Theme 10:Institutions, Information, Security

Andrew T Kenyon and Timothy Marjoribanks: Journalism, defamation law and democracy: contested public speech in four countries (PDF 122 KB).

Friday 02 September 2011

Theme 11: Citizens, Media Government

Mary Griffiths: The Digital Information Flows E-Sim: role-play as media democracy education in an era of Gov 2.0 and wikileaks (PDF 3.1 MB).

Julie Freeman: The Impact of Federal Policy on Local E-Government (PDF 453 KB).

Rui Novais and Viviane Araujo: Using or misusing.

Theme 12: Media Models and Political Roles

Elira Turdubaeva and Svetlana Kulikova: New media in protest mobilization: the case of April 7 uprising in Kyrgyzstan (PDF 7.6 MB).

Rosyidah Muhamad: The role of independent online media: managing contentious political issues in Malaysia (PDF 325 KB).

Keynote address: Presented by A/Professor Ingrid Volkmer, University of Melbourne.
Slides: The Public Sphere as a Deterritorialized Space (PDF 577 KB)
Paper: The European Public: between National Spheres and a Deterritorialized Space (PDF 230 KB).

Concluding conversations

Moderator: Professor Ursula Rao, University of New south Wales.


  • Professors Jan Zielonka (University of Oxford/St Antony’s College, UK),
  • Stephanie Hemelryk Donald (RMIT University, Australia),
  • Jacques Rupnik (Sciences Po, France/College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium),
  • Jacek ┼╗akowski (Collegium Civitas, Warsaw/Polityka, Poland),
  • Radoslaw Markowski (Polish Academy of Sciences/Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland),
  • Paolo Mancini (University of Perugia) and
  • Ingrid Volkmer (University of Melbourne).

Download the podcast from iTunes.

Final conference documentation

Final programme (PDF 213 KB)

Confirmed participants (PDF 133 KB)

Conference proceedings: available soon.

Further information

EU Centre at RMIT:

Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe project, University of Oxford.

Communication, Politics & Culture journal at RMIT School of Media and Communication.