ROMANIA. Risks and Opportunities Related to Media and Journalism Studies (2000–2020). Case Study on the National Research and Monitoring Capabilities.
The scope of the current paper is to review the existing documentary and scientifical sources and literature that may enable the researcher to thoroughly examine the media field in Romania in four domains: legal regulation and accountability systems, journalism, media usage patterns and media-related competences. Such an analysis should enable the researcher to identify the risks and opportunities that the four domains provide for the development of the deliberative democracy in Romania. We found an impressive quantity of data, information and knowledge, but a lack of structure and some inconsistencies that makes research difficult and time-consuming. In some domains, such the legal and journalistic, there is an abundance of sources, while in others, such as the media-related competences, there is a scarcity. In between, the domain of media usage patterns offers a variety of data, collected or produced by various actors, with different methodologies and scopes. Such data is only partially available outside the business sector and is seldom comparable, which hampers the research. We identified a series of actors active in documenting and researching the media field: the state, the academics, journalists, businesses, including those involved in new technologies that are game changers. These actors take turns in one domain or another, but they do not coordinate or cooperate. It appears that the data and information distribution follow the “plum pudding model”243: valuable information needs to be scooped out of volumes of irrelevant one. In conclusion: some domains are barely documented at all, it is difficult to navigate the existing information and identify the relevant information and there is a lack of cooperation between actors that generate data and information as well as public policies. The major risk we identified is the lack of evidence-based policymaking and for the research works and findings to go unnoticed and unapplied by the practitioners and policymakers and for the new knowledge to be wasted.