Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Editorial | Open Access

Understanding Media Control in the Digital Age

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Abstract:  Media control comprises multifaceted and amorphous phenomena, combining a variety of forms, tools, and practices. Today media control takes place in a sphere where national politics meet global technology, resulting in practices that bear features of both the (global) platforms and the affordances of national politics. At the intersection of these fields, we try to understand current practices of media control and the ways in which it may be resisted. This thematic issue is an endeavour to bring together conceptual, methodological, and empirical contributions to revise the scholarly discussion on media control. First, authors of this thematic issue re-assemble the notion of media control itself, as not being holistic and discrete (control vs freedom) but by considering it from a more critical perspective as having various modes and regimes. Second, this thematic issue brings a “micro” perspective into understanding and theorising media control. In comparison to structural and institutional perspectives on control, this perspective focuses on the agency of various actors (objects and subjects of media pressure) and their practices, motivations, and the resources with which they exert or resist control. Featuring cases from a broad range of countries with political systems ranging from democracy to electoral authoritarian regime, this issue also draws attention to the question of how media control relates to regime type.

Keywords:  digital media; freedom of expression; internet governance; media pressure; media control; political regimes



© Olga Dovbysh, Esther Somfalvy. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.