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Mapping the Brave New Digital World

How has the Internet changed the media landscape in Romania? What do we mean by a “digital dividend”? How active is digital activism in Mexico? What effects has the digitization of broadcasting had on Moroccan society? What are the implications of net neutrality for media freedom?

These are just a few of the questions that the Mapping Digital Media project will try to address over the coming year.

Through country reports and a reference series, the project will hone in on three key developments in the media world, namely:

  • the switchover from analog broadcasting to digital broadcasting;
  • growth of new media platforms as sources of news;
  • convergence of traditional broadcasting with telecommunications.

The reports will cover up to 60 countries and examine how these developments affect the core democratic duty that any free and open media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs. The reports are produced by local researchers and partner organizations in each country. Cumulatively, these reports will provide a much-needed resource on the democratic role of digital media.

Our reference series, authored by an expert, academic, or experienced activist, aims to provide a jargon-free look at issues, policies, and technologies that are important for understanding changes in the media.

By taking an in-depth look at the changing media landscape around the world, our core aim is to connect this research with policy-makers, activists, academics, and standard-setters across the world. At the same time, this body of work constitutes a knowledge base that we hope will both inform debate and lay the foundations for better, more informed media policies.

We are launching this collection with a report on Romania—the first comprehensive attempt to analyze the digital media market and its impact in that society. The first paper in the reference series, Online Media and Defamation addresses a present threat to media in the  digital environment, highlighting solutions that protect freedom of expression.

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