A Case of Polarized Pluralism in a Mediterranean country. The Media and Politics in Spain

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Based on the polarized pluralism – or Mediterranean model for the media, (Hallin & Mancini, 2004), we have analyzed the structure of the media system in Spain from the beginning of the post-Franco democracy at the end of the 1970s through to its current form today. Although some authors have considered the Spanish media system to be a mixture of the liberal and Mediterranean models (both described by Hallin and Mancini), we argue that the polarized pluralism model is applicable to the Spanish case. Below, we review the indicators used by Hallin and Mancini to classify the media models, with a view to demonstrating that Spain fulfils the 4 prerequisites set out by the authors typifying the Mediterranean media model: The low degree of press circulation (contrasting with a high level of TV viewing); an authoritarian past in which part of the media was involved in the struggle for freedom resulting in their political alienation; a low degree of autonomy among Spanish journalists under both political and commercial pressure, and a high degree of state interventionism in public media.
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