LATVIA. Critical junctures in the media transformation process.



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Based on the bibliographic data of media studies, this paper analyses the most important areas of media development-related risks and opportunities for deliberative democracy. Accessing data in political, economic, social, and technology development from 2000 to 2020 in Latvia, the most important critical junctures have been defined as follows: first, the media legislation development during the first decade of the new millennium did not prevent politicians from influencing the independence of the media authority and, secondly, the state of journalism was affected by changes in the structure of the public communication environment in the early 2000s (the PR field and digital communication expanded) and during the economic crisis (2008- 2010), which caused the restructuring of education in journalism (the demand for education in journalism decreased), and the relatively low salaries in media companies reduced the prestige of journalism as a profession; third, the technological development, digitisation and advent of social media contributed to the change of audience structure, media repertoires, uses and trust in news media; fourth, inclusion of media literacy in general education and public discourse as a response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.


media system development, Latvia, politics, media regulation, journalism, media use, media competencies