LATVIA. Risks and Opportunities Related to Media and Journalism Studies (2000–2020). Case Study on the National Research and Monitoring Capabilities.



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Analysing the scientific publications dedicated to the development of journalism and media in Latvia during the twenty years from 2000 to 2020, this article presents conclusions about the research basis that could affect the state of deliberative communication. Academic studies con-tent that reflects the situation of journalism, media use, legal and ethical regulation and media-related competencies, describes the research environment, research issues and their scientific quality. Analysis of the bibliographic data (317 publications) shows that the media and journalism land-scape in Latvia has been studied in a fragmented manner. The quality of media studies and communication research in Latvia is low. Due to a lack of resources, the number of studies is limited, and the scale of internationally referenced publications is small, as well as the studies cover a limited range of media and journalism problems. The risks of deliberative communication are related to the gaps in knowledge and lack of impact of the research on both media policy and the public. This is a result of the low level of research, small number of experts, sporadic and non-continuity of data, lack of original and creative ap-proaches in the research field, weak international networking, and exchange. The recent devel-opments in the field (more structured science funding system, requirements for scientific publi-cations, young doctors in the field) are indicating opportunities to diminish the risks. However, this is not possible without strengthening research in the areas of media law, media economy and management as well as regarding new challenges for journalism caused by technological development. Limited research opportunities mean that Latvian media researchers, if possible, follow the current trends in research, but are unable to make an in-depth contribution to the development of communication and media theories.