The MediaAcT research consortium is well-balanced to meet the specific tasks and objectives of the project, which assures close cooperation among team members during all stages of the research and dissemination process.
MediaAcT includes members of different journalism cultures according to the model by Daniel C. Hallin and Paolo Mancini. Thus, the collective consortium can take a comparative perspective and draw conclusions about media accountability systems in the different media systems: Great Britain represents the North Atlantic or Liberal Model; Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Finland stand for the Northern European or Democratic Corporatist Model; while the Mediterranean or Polarised Pluralist Model is incorporated by Italy and France. In addition, also the Eastern European media states with relatively new democratic media systems are taken into consideration (Poland, Romania, Estonia) as well as the Arabic World with journalism cultures in transition (Tunisia, Jordan). The comparative perspective will advance the exchange between these different cultures.
All members of the MediaAcT research consortium have - often extensive - experience with comparative studies and complement each other with their specific expertise. Members of the research consortium also share many research interests, which will make the research process even more productive. Partners from Estonia, Germany and the Netherlands contribute their expert knowledge of media accountability and media ethics. The media economical perspective is represented by partners from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Furthermore, the Estonian, Finnish, Italian and French partners are experts in the field of journalism cultures. Specialists for democracy theories come from France, Finland and Italy, while the specialists for the process of democratisation are represented by Estonia, Poland and Romania, and for the Arab part by Tunisia.
The practical dimension will be brought in by Great Britain, Estonia and Germany as these partners are conversant with the education of journalists. The perspective of experienced journalists and journalistic trainers is taken by the British organisation The MediaWise Trust and the independent media research and training company Medienhaus Wien (Austria). Since the project appeals to journalists and their sensitivity towards the different instruments of media accountability, a main focus lies on this practical dimension.
The research consortium is also well-balanced in terms of experience with empirical methods. The experts for scientific qualitative methods (Finland, France, Romania) as well as quantitative methods (Switzerland, Austria) guarantee a high quality of research. Many members of the research consortium have already collaborated on previous bilateral research or publication projects in the past, which will enhance cooperation among team members even further.
By involving experts from different approaches and scientific methods, MediaAcT employs a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The consortium unites leading experts from different disciplines and areas of expertise, namely Mass Communication and Journalism Studies, Political Science, Economy and Social Science, and Sociology. The interdisciplinary approach will facilitate the analysis of media accountability systems from different perspectives, though the main focus of attention still is on media and journalism studies.
Involving the Arab perspective is a key focus of the MediaAcT research project. Thus, Tunisia and Jordan have been selected to represent two different types of Arab media systems and journalism cultures. The research on MAS in Tunisia will be conducted by Prof. Riad Ferjani, Centre d'Analyse et de Recherches Interdisciplinaire sur les medias, l'Université Paris II (CARISM). Research on Jordan will be conducted by a media researcher with excellent expertise on media in Jordan, based in Germany. The researcher responsible for Jordan will be hired in summer of 2010. In order to be able to present a state of the art report for Jordan already at the kick-off meeting in Dortmund in February 2010 and contributing to the working paper publication (D7), the Erich Brost Institute will commission Ms. Sawsan Zaidah from the Community Media Network in Amman with a SOAR. To ensure a smooth project start, the Erich Brost Institute will take care of the travel costs for Ms. Zaidah as well as for the costs for providing the SOAR by non-project related means.
In order to carry out specialised technical jobs which the MediaAcT consortium cannot conduct itself, the consortium will use the services of specialised organisations. However, all subcontractors to be involved in the project will not carry out research work itself, nor perform any core part of the research work. The consortium ensures that transparent bidding procedures are used before selecting a subcontractor according to Article II.7.2 of ECGA, to ensure conditions of transparency and equal treatment.
MediaAcT is a comparative research project on media accountability systems in EU member states as indicators for media pluralism in Europe.