Whose media freedom is being defended? Norm contestation in international media freedom campaigns

Scott, Martin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6744-443X, Bunce, Melanie, Myers, Mary and Fernandez, Maria Carmen (2023) Whose media freedom is being defended? Norm contestation in international media freedom campaigns. Journal of Communication, 73 (2). 87–100. ISSN 0021-9916

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This paper analyses how international advocacy campaigns approach and define media freedom, and what influences this process. It does this through a two-year case study of the Media Freedom Coalition - an intergovernmental partnership of over 50 countries - that included 55 interviews with key stakeholders, observations, and document analysis. This revelatory case sheds light on how norms of media freedom are constructed and contested on the international stage, and their implications for journalists, media freedom and geo-politics. We show that the Coalition adopted a state-centric, accountability-focussed, and negative understanding of media freedom. This discourse legitimised a narrow, reactive and ‘resource-light’ approach to supporting media freedom, focussed on ‘other’ countries. We argue that critical norm research provides a helpful prism for understanding this Coalition’s operations, and the global politics of media freedom more generally. These findings have important implications for understandings of ‘norm entrepreneurship’, ‘media imperialism’, and ‘media freedom’ itself.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Data availability: The data underlying this article cannot be shared publicly to protect the privacy of individuals that participated in the study. Funding information: This work was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/V006118/1).
Uncontrolled Keywords: media freedom,norm entrepreneurship,media imperialism,critical norm research,international norms,discourse analysis,social sciences(all),sdg 9 - industry, innovation, and infrastructure,4* ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Cultural Politics, Communications & Media
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > The State, Governance and Conflict
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 04:07
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2023 09:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/90149
DOI: 10.1093/joc/jqac045


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