Mimicry, fragmentation, or decoupling? Three scenarios for the control function of EU correspondents

Asimina Michailidou has co-authored an article on the role of EU correspondents in European democracy under constant transformation. 

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In this article, we explore three possible scenarios for the role of EU correspondents in a post-pandemic media landscape that is marked not only by the mainstreaming of misinformation but also by an EU regulatory turn that aims to support media in the post-pandemic era and to stamp out the culture of ‘fake news’. EU correspondents are best placed to function as translators of EU technocratic and differentiated governance. Such a function is a prerequisite to critically assess the content and quality of decision-making, when demands of national EU readerships for EU news are limited and resources for quality journalism restricted. We submit that whether this function of EU correspondents will materialise in the (post-)pandemic era hinges not on their capacity to contribute to the elusive ‘European public sphere’ but on how the EU's action plan for the recovery and transformation of media organisations will interact with the multiple challenges journalists are already facing in the digital era. We propose three scenarios on how such an institutional settlement of EU journalism may play out: mimicry, fragmentation, and decoupling. The aim is twofold: Firstly, to set out a research agenda for empirical investigation of the EU correspondents’ role in European democracy under constant transformation. And secondly, to argue normatively the case for safeguarding the independence and viability of specialist and/or transnational professional journalism bodies, even if these appear increasingly irrelevant from a commercial perspective.

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Asimina Michailidou and Hans-Jörg Trenz
'Mimicry, Fragmentation, or Decoupling? Three Scenarios for the Control Function of EU Correspondents'

The International Journal of Press/Politics
Online first, 2021. DOI: 10.1177/19401612211058674

Published Dec. 9, 2021 10:09 AM - Last modified Dec. 9, 2021 10:09 AM