The International Media Handbook provides an overview of media systems and developments along with comparable data, analyses and current developments in different countries.
Even though information about the countries in the world and also about their media can be accessed more and more easily through the Internet, this does not satisfy the need for reliable, topical and expertly construed information on the respective media systems. The high demand for the International Media Handbook shows that this need is much rather increasing among researchers and scholars as well as in journalism and politics, especially with regard to comparably structured data on different countries. The 26th edition of the International Media Handbook, published in July 2009, responded to this demand with a combination of general analyses and country-specific contributions, which are exceptional in their coverage (79 articles spanning all continents) and their content range covering all relevant media worldwide.
A concept is currently developed in order to make the information that is published on over 1300 pages available in English through an Open Access platform. Besides financial issues legal and technical questions have to be clarified.
- Hans-Bredow-Institut (ed.): Internationales Handbuch Medien. [International Media Handbook] Baden-Baden: Nomos, 28th edition 2009, 1.308 pp., hardcover, 128,– EUR, contents as pdf-document (German), order information
Information about the 26th edition (2009)
The new edition of the International Media Handbook, published in July 2009, presents a combination of general analyses and country-specific contributions which are exceptional in their coverage (79 articles from all continents) and their content range for all relevant media worldwide.
The IMH provides comprehensive information on the most important current developments in the areas of print media, broadcasting and online services worldwide. Part A presents with across the board contributions, general surveys and analyses transnational and general lines of development, more closely examining individual aspects of legal and economic developments and the growth of offerings in the areas of print media, broadcasting and online services.
In parts B and C (Media in Europe, Media outside of Europe) the developments of media in individual states are described, now extending the reporting to countries as yet not covered, above all in Africa and Asia. Articles have been added on Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Peru.
The authors of the reports on countries, experts from the respective countries or persons knowledgeable about the national media systems, describe for each of the three areas of print media, broadcasting and online the following dimensions: legal and historical groundings, organisation and financing of providers, offerings and usage, recent developments. Their articles are complemented by an analysis on the status of developments in convergence with their consequences for the three areas named, through citing of contact addresses for the most important media institutions and agencies, references to literature and pertinent links to further information.
In order to improve the comparability of the particular country information, it has been attempted in the new edition to include standardised tables in the individual reports – an endeavour which has in practice run into difficulties due to the very disparate conditions of data. As other comparative surveys have shown, the available information on media systems in countries differ from each other so much that standardisation is very limited. Even in highly developed countries, e.g. USA or France, some data are not available or not being published. In some places, the Handbook benefits from the fact that the experts and authors of the articles have access to non-public data sources.
Not least due to the new structure, which increases the user value of the Handbook, there has been a break between the release of the last Handbook and the new edition. A work so elaborate and substantial with over 1,300 pages requires an extended production process as well as a lot of patience and effort from the authors. The articles of this new edition were written in 2007/2008 and in most cases updated in the beginning of 2009.
But the temporal gap in the publishing series is also accounted for by the discussion about the future publication of the Handbook as well as the funding of the related work and resources which has not yet been concluded. As the Nomos-Verlag only carries the cost of production as well as a portion of the authors’ fees and costs for translation, the major load of conceptual and, above all, editorial work rests with the Hans-Bredow-Institut in financial terms as well. This service is, however, no longer tenable for the Institute alone, thus new ways of fund raising, attracting sponsorships and also the possibility of a pure English-language publication have been, and are still being, considered and pursued.