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Media as Tool of Democratisation: Promoting Free Media in Post Conflict Society

Open Panel

Abstract

Existing studies on media assistance do acknowledge that it is a concept used in some post conflict countries as a tool of democratization in the last 20 years, but do not agree if it is a successful or not, or if it should be used at all. My intention is to measure impact media assistance had on professionalization of the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the countries where it has been deployed, in order to establish if and how media assistance can help democratization. Starting point is that free media and democratization depends on each other, but does not create each other, and that neither can be imposed from the outside, but has to be developed from the inside. Democracy needs professional and self sustainable media. According to many authors, media assistance does not create this type of media, but often makes them donor dependent and in service of those who are assisting them. Still, media assistance is indeed needed after the war, when media are seriously damaged in every way, but the whole concept has to be more carefully researched in order to develop sustainable model for the future. One of the questions I will try to answer is can free media, as well as democracy, be imposed? It is important also to understand the impact of external imposition and limited sovereignty on the establishment of a free media and democracy, and it will be also one of the aspects of my project.