Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Delayed Reflections: Media and Journalism Data Deserts in the Post-Socialist Czech Republic

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Abstract:  One of the key obstacles to the normative development of post-socialist media systems, in general, and the Czech Republic in particular, is the deferral of the thoughtful reflection and critical examination of the evolution of the media industry by academics and professionals. In the early years of post-socialist development, there was a lack of collected data and relevant analysis of the state of the media and journalism. It was foreign researchers who provided the first studies of the post-socialist media systems. Plus, the commercial industry, which systematically collected data, but made it inaccessible and/or expensive. This lack of domestic contemplation and transparency led to the existence of data deserts, which made it difficult to effectively reflect upon the development of the media and its role in the transition society. This article is based on a comprehensive literature review and expert interviews with witnesses of the media industry development. These sources—academia, industry, and NGOs—make it possible to highlight specific areas that were overlooked and to propose reasons that data deserts are created in post-socialist media systems. Analysing the data through the lenses of availability, continuity, accessibility, and topicality, we delimit three eras for the general reflection of the development of the media environment, setting a distinguishable timeframe for the post-socialist media data reflection’s evolution.

Keywords:  Central European media; Eastern European media; data desert; media research; post-socialist media system; post-socialist transition


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© Lenka Waschková Císařová, Iveta Jansová, Jan Motal. 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.