Comparative Media Studies in the Digital Age| Comparing Media Systems and the Digital Age

Paolo Mancini


This article discusses a possible revision of the interpretative schema that was proposed in the book Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics, published in 2004 before the dramatic development of digital communication. In particular, the article focuses on the idea of the media system and its possible use in the digital age. Digitalization seems to foster a process of deinstitutionalization that undermines the role of institutions such as the state, political parties, and news outlet organizations that, in the era of legacy media, were affecting the feature of the media system and therefore represented important subjects of investigation and comparison as to the schema proposed in the book. Digitalization transfers, both in the field of news media and in politics, a number of functions that were played by these institutions to single, dispersed actors; today, the observation of these actors and their actions appears more complex also because of their volatility.


media system, digitalization, institution, technology, globalization

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