As the integrity of the international media landscape is challenged by far-reaching transformations, the need for a functional system of media regulation is bigger than ever. In democratic societies, various instruments of media accountability (such as press and media councils, ombudspersons, media journalism, etc.) assume a key role in the process of safeguarding a free and responsible media performance. However, in the light of an advancing economization of media communication and recent technological changes, the established system of media accountability seems to be at the crossroads: On the one hand, the necessity of non-state means for holding the media responsible towards the public is largely undisputed; on the other hand, the effectiveness of such instruments as a guardian of press freedom and media plurality is often questioned – both by media practitioners and media researchers.

Our research aims at mapping the state of media accountability in Europe and beyond – and at highlighting perspectives for future developments in this field: Which instruments of media accountability are currently prevailing in the various journalism cultures around the globe and how can their mode of operation be assessed? What are the particular problems and challenges they are facing? And which possible strategies can help to overcome these challenges? These and similar questions are discussed from a variety of perspectives – and with the help of a growing network of international research partners. With our European Handbook of Media Accountability, for example, we can present the first comparative research effort to examine the status quo of media accountability in all EU member countries as well as selected key countries close to Europe (including Turkey and Israel). More than 30 country reports provide a sound overview over media accountability infrastructures all over Europe, national best practice cases and the state-of-the-art of academic research in each country. With the help of a European Media Accountability Index, it becomes possible to measure the state of media accountability across countries – and stimulate a wider media policy debate about self-regulation beyond academic circles.

Future initiatives will intend to globalize and de-Westernize research on the issue of media accountability.


Own funds

CMC Staff

Tobias Eberwein (Project Leader)

Matthias Karmasin


former staff:

Sandra Barthel

Katja Kaufmann

Cooperation Partners

Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications

Charles University Prague, Department of Media Studies

Corvinus University of Budapest, Institute of Marketing and Media

Cyprus University of Technology, Communications and Internet Studies Department

Danubius University, Faculty of Communication and International Relations

Dublin City University, School of Communications

Fontys University of Applied Sciences, School of Journalism

Free University Brussels, Research Center in Information and Communication

Galatasaray University, Faculty of Communication

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Sammy Ofer School of Communication

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Journalism

Medienhaus Wien

Mid Sweden University, Department of Information, Technology and Media

Roskilde University, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies (CBIT)

School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA)

Sciences Po Toulouse, Institut d'Etudes Politiques

Technische Universität Dortmund, Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism

Turiba University, Department of Communication Sciences

University of Bucharest, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication Studies

University of Copenhagen, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication

University of Cyprus, Department of Social and Political Sciences

University of Dubrovnik, Department of Journalism

University of Ghent, Center for Journalism Studies

University of Jyväskylä, Department of Communication

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Malta, Department of Psychology, Department of Media and Communication

University of Milan, Department of Social and Political Sciences

University of Nantes, Department of Sociology

University of Porto, School of Economics and Business, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

University of Tampere, Journalism Research and Development Centre

University of Tartu, Department of Journalism and Communication

University of the West of England, School of Film and Journalism

University of Warsaw, Institute of Journalism

University of Wroclaw, Institute of Political Sciences

University of Zurich, Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research

University Pompeu Fabre, Journalism and Communication Department

Volda University College, Faculty of Media and Journalism

Vytautas Magnus University, Department of Public Communications

In the media

Molitor, Carmen (2017). Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Journalisten machen Fehler: Wie können sie besser damit umgehen? DJV Journal 1/2017, https://www.djv-nrw.de/startseite/unser-plus/journal/2017/journal-117/thema-fehlerkultur.html (Tobias Eberwein im Gespräch über Fehler im Journalismus)

Kleut, Jelena (2019). Media accountability in the era of post-truth politics. Interview with the editors: Tobias Eberwein, Susanne Fengler, Matthias Karmasin. ECREA Newsletter, 29.03.2019https://ecrea.eu/Newsletter/7251416

Congress organization

Fengler, Susanne; Eberwein, Tobias; Karmasin, Matthias (15.6.2018). Media and transparency: A global perspective. International conference at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, D.

Eberwein, Tobias; Fengler, Susanne; Karmasin, Matthias (8.11.2016). Media accountability at the crossroads. European challenges and perspectives. ECREA Pre-Conference at the University of New York in Prague, CZ.