Comparative Media Studies in the Digital Age| Comparative Research, System Change, and the Complexity of Media Systems

Daniel C. Hallin


This commentary reflects on the implications of new media and change in media systems for comparative analysis, focusing particularly on the question of whether increased complexity and fluidity mean that the concept of media systems is no longer relevant to comparative research or that a national media system as a unit of analysis is no longer relevant. It considers the nature of systems theory in general and the place of complexity and variation in the systems perspective. It then goes on to reflect on how to think about new media in relation to existing national media systems, drawing on the concept of path dependence. It closes with reflections on methodology in comparative analysis.


comparative analysis, digital media, media system

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