The duration of the MediaAcT project is scheduled for 3 ½ years, starting in February 2010. It has nine work packages, 26 deliverables and three mile stones. 12 institutes will participate in the programme and examine 13 different systems of media accountability. The project's aim is to carry out standardized surveys and a more explorative field study with qualitative interviews in order to obtain comparable valid data for an all-European perspective as well as an outlook across the EU's borders on quantity and quality of media accountability systems as indicators for media pluralism.
All work packages have been precisely adapted to the research process and methodological necessities. This results mostly in a strict chronological order, where usually one work package must be concluded before entering the next stage. Each work package has been administered to the participant with expertise knowledge.
In the first step of the project, the project participants will prepare and publish a state-of-the-art report regarding MAS in their respective country-of-study and create a common understanding of topics and terminology, an important process in intercultural comparative research.
In a more explorative approach, then, innovative online forms of MAS will be analyzed with the help of qualitative face-to-face interviews with media experts in Europe, the USA and the Arab World. It is the goal of the project to provide best practice examples which may be tested in the quantitative research during the field study in all participating countries. During this field study, all partners will conduct a representative survey studying the impacts of established and innovative MAS on journalistic working processes. As one result of this scientific analysis, a book addressed to fellow researchers will be published.
In the next step of the project, the produced data will be evaluated and analyzed in order to achieve recommendations and applicable strategies for media managers and policy makers alike. Also, the dissemination of the project's results is in the centre of attention: E.g. a best practice guidebook directed at media professionals will be published, and an index of MAS as well as an online training tool for future journalists will be developed.
The consortium will be coordinated by the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism (EBI) as consortium leader: the EBI has previously served as the coordinator of the AIM project that had been funded in FP6 and the scientific staff has already gained substantial knowledge how to manage the consortium of an EU project. The work progress and the on-time submission of deliverables will be handled by the consortium leader together with the respective lead contractor of a work package. In order to assure smooth communication flows without interpreters, the consortium has agreed on English as the common language of communication; this is also valid for all common publications of the consortium.