In this article the concept ‘micro media system’ is introduced to describe the relations between ... Read more
In this article the concept ‘micro media system’ is introduced to describe the relations between media and politics in microstates and societies. Drawing on ideas from literature on democracy in microstates (Benedict, 1967; Corbett and Veenendaal, 2019; Sarapuu and Randma-Liiv, 2020), it is argued that despite their many differences, the smallest media systems share four characteristics linked to their micro size: (1) government domination, (2) high social integration and overlapping role-relationships, (3) dependence on few individuals and (4) multi-functionalism among journalists and media outlets. These characteristics of micro media systems can weaken the media’s position in society vis-à-vis other institutions.
Whereas previous research on small media systems (e.g., Puppis, 2009) has considered size as a binary variable, in this article it is argued that size of media systems is better perceived as a continuous variable. This implies that the characteristics of micro media systems become more pronounced the smaller the media system.