The watchdogs that only bark? Media and political accountability in Central and Eastern Europe

2017-04-28T10:43:55Z (GMT) by Vaclav Stetka
This paper critically examines how media in post-transformation countries of the CEE region fulfil their normative role of “watchdogs of democracy”, particularly in relation to the issue of political corruption, which is regarded as one of the most palpable issues the new democracies are coping with. Empirically, the paper is be based on an expert survey conducted (together with Henrik Örnebring) in 2012 in eight CEE countries, on field interviews with investigative journalists, as well as on a frequency analysis of media salience of corruption and the trends in prosecution of corruption in the Czech Republic. Drawing on the results from both parts of the empirical study, the paper suggests the media have a best chance to fulfil their watchdog role and to enforce accountability when supported by the effort of other accountability institutions composing a network of actors mutually reinforcing each other in their effort to curb political corruption.