Croatian Media System between Reflexive Modernization and Mediatization: Societal and Institutional Analysis



In the past two decades, Croatian society underwent significant social transformation and changes in all aspects of social life. Within that context, the media and communication system was rarely analyzed in an integrative way, or as a central part of those processes. The goal of this paper is to analyze societal and institutional changes of the media system, social-political changes as well as market and technological development changes through a prism of two contemporary social meta-theories: reflexive modernization and mediatization. Therefore, data on a number of different media, ownership structures, audience reach and official EU accession negotiation documents are analyzed and presented. Some of the key changes of the media systems that are analyzed are institutional changes of the public broadcasting service, liberalization and privatization of the market as a changing boundary between private and public spheres, change of the dominant media content paradigm and consequently commercialization of media space, different European Union influences and the increasing role of the internet and new media in the media and communications system. The governance of the media system produces unintended consequences, while at the same time different social processes are being adapted to the media, granting them an increasingly important social role. Due to these changes, the system of coordinates of the national system is completely open to transnational processes.


reflexive modernization; mediatization; public service; market liberalization; European Union

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096