It’s possible to categorize most global media and communication systems into three main models. Different parts of the world use these different models. In every case, media systems remain inseparable from politics, systems of government, culture and history.  

Understanding these global media and communication systems and where they are used is part of the curriculum in an online Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising from Park Point University. Graduates develop the skills needed to succeed in public relations, copywriting and marketing.  

The Types of Global Media Systems In Use Today 

In “The Three Models: Media System Characteristics,” authors Daniel C. Hallin of the University of California, San Diego and Paolo Mancini of the Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy detailed the attributes of the three main media systems. The following provides a brief overview of each. 

Polarized Pluralist Model  

Where it’s used: France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain 

The Polarized Pluralist model is characterized by an elite politically oriented press that operates in countries that became democrat nations relatively late. Other characteristics include:  

  • Strong state intervention 
  • Press subsidies (in France and Italy) 
  • A history that includes periods of censorship 
  • Strong involvement of state and parties in the economy 
  • Periods of authoritarianism 
  • Strong welfare state in some cases (France and Italy) 

Democratic Corporatist Model 

Where it’s used: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland 

The Democratic Corporatist Model emerged in countries that adopted democracy early and also were early adopters to a mass-circulation press. Other characteristics include:  

  • Strong state intervention but protection for press freedom 
  • Press subsidies (particularly in Scandinavia) 
  • Strong public-service broadcasting 
  • Strong welfare state 
  • Significant involvement of the state in the economy 
  • Strong development of rational-legal authority 

Liberal Model  

Where it’s used: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland 

The Liberal Model – also called the North Atlantic Model – was founded in countries that adopted democracy early and also developed strong mass-circulation media early, Other characteristics include:  

  • Rather than strong state invention, media is market dominated 
  • Strong public broadcasting in the UK and Ireland 
  • Information-oriented journalism 
  • Formally autonomous system 
  • Individualized representation rather than organized pluralism (especially the U.S.) 
  • Weaker welfare state (especially in the U.S.) 
  • Strong development of rational-legal authority 

Understanding the most used global media and communication systems empowers public relations, advertising and marketing people to better understand how to succeed in their professions. Earning a bachelor’s degree can provide the first step toward achieving their career ambitions.