Glossary

This glossary introduces and explains the key terminology that is used in the 'Mapping Global Media Policy' online platform. The definitions provided here relate to the conceptual as well as to the structural organization of the platform, and they are the outcome of theoretical and terminological choices. Though acknowledging the diversity of concepts utilized in existing academic literature, this glossary does not aim at synthesizing the disciplinary complexity that characterizes the field of global media policy, but at generating consistency, usability and clarity within this project.

The definitions below are in alphabetical order.

Action & Context: The way in which a person, organization, document or resorce is situated within the field of global media policy: at  which level (from local to global) it intervenes into policy debate or to which level it relates; to which policy themes it refers; and to which specific policy processes it is connected. 'Action & Context' is one of the clusters that structure the information provided in each profile.

Activity: Repertoires of action that an organization applies for intervening into policy processes and discourses. This component connects disciplinary approaches to policy studies and collective action. It reflects the project’s understanding of governance as a set of processes that include a variety of actors, levels and activities. Furthermore, through their prime activities we identify actors such as media, and academia.

Affiliation: Sustained connection between a person and any kind of organizational actor, including academic institutions, businesses, campaigns, networks, etc. A person can have more than one affiliation, or none. 'Affiliation' is one of the clusters that structure the information provided in the category 'People'.

Authors (Policy Documents): An organization or individual that has developed a policy document. Typically such documents are authored by an organization or the secretariat of an institutionalized policy process, however individual persons may at times serve as author too. The platform provides for both options.

Category: The database is structured according to four categories: People, Organizational Actors, Policy Documents, and Resources. These categories serve as the main building blocks of, and as key entrance points to, the database.

Cluster: The information provided in all categories, and regarding each profile, is structured in three clusters: Description, Action&Context, and  Connections&Networking. The first cluster provides the basic information which characterizes and describes the profile,  the second cluster situates the profile in the field of global media policy, and the third cluster highlights connections with other profiles and categories.

Collaboration: A cooperation between organizations, including both ad-hoc collaborations, such as a common project, and sustained collaborations which span over longer periods and various common activities.

Connections & Networking: The cluster 'Connections & Networking' relates to strong connections and close links with other profiles entered into the database. It offers space for highlighting the interplay amongst database components, such as the role of certain individuals and organizations in the development of a policy document or a research paper (e.g., contributors that have co-drafted the document or parts of it), and the role of certain resources that served as key inputs and influential framework.

Constitutive membership: Membership relations within an organization which is set up as a network or umbrella entity and thus includes other organizations as members. The question here is: What other organizations are members of this specific organization?

Cyberpresence: Pictures, audio and video recordings, blogs, newsletters, tweets, RSS feeds, and other material that is available on the web about a person or organization and/or their policy-related activity.

Description: The first cluster according to which the information in all profiles is structured includes the most fundamental information that helps situating a person,  organization, document or resources in time and space and describe its main characteristics. The more detailed policy-related information is included in the following clusters.

External membership: Indicates if the organization is a member of other organizations, or if it belongs to an umbrella organization or network. The question here is: What other organizations is this specific organization a member?

Full Citation: The full set of key information that describes a resource or a policy document.

Level: The sphere of action in the multi-level context of global media policy that a person, organization, policy document or resource is most concerned with and which it refers to or intervenes in. Levels include 'global' (e.g., UN, ICANN), 'multilateral' (supranational but not universal, such as NATO), 'regional' (e.g., European Union), 'national' (nation state level), 'sub-national' (provinces, states withín a federal state), 'local' (city, neighbourhood).

Mission: Main goals of an organizational actor, as described by the actor itself. In order to maintain neutrality and objectivity, the mission is typically transferred from the organization's website.

Organizational Actors: Entities (institutions, associations, corporations, networks, etc) that have stakes in the issues and/or participate in global media policy-making and governance processes. Actors can be governmental, non governmental or multi-stakeholder; they can represent different interests (public or private) and can operate at different levels (national, regional, international etc.). 'Organizational Actors' are one of the four main categories of the GMP platform.

Parent Institution: In cases where an organizational actor is a sub-division of a larger organization, as in the case of an academic department, a task force or a research center, the 'Parent Institution' is the larger organizational body, such as a university or an international institution.

People: Individuals who are directly involved in or have an active interest in thematic areas and topics that are relevant to Global Media Policy. They can be researchers, advocates, policy makers or others. 'People' are one of the four main categories of the GMP platform.

Policy Documents: Inputs or outcomes of formal institutional processes at different levels (national, regional, international etc.). These can be elaborated by individuals or organizational actors and include briefs, reports, policy statements, legislative and regulatory texts, conventions etc. Such documents can be of binding or non binding nature. 'Policy Documents' are one of the four main categories of the GMP platform.

Policy Process: A debate or negotiation amongst a variety of actors on a particular theme or problem of media and communication policy, and leading to either binding or non-binding rules in the form of laws, conventions, declarations, standards or norms. A policy process is limited in time and space, and it typically provides a reference point for a variety of actors from state, market and society to articulate their interests, promote policy goals, principles and norms, and frame policy-relevant issues, thereby informing as well as influencing policy-making. A policy process can encompass a variety of governing arrangements, including state-based law-making, self- and co-regulation, technical and normative standard-setting, and range from initial consultative processes to final decisions and outcomes.

Profile: Full or partial description of a person, an organizational actor, a policy document or a resource. Profiles are the main output of the database.

Reference: Code through which official policy documents are archived.

Resources: Complementary sources of knowledge that are relevant to render a complete picture of Global Media Policy as a field of research and practice. These can be academic publications, policy-related documents that have been elaborated outside of formal processes, research projects, repositories, web-portals, course and training materials, and conference proceedings. 'Resources' are one of the four main categories of the GMP platform.

Selected Publications, Documents and Resources: In contrast to the field 'Own Publications' which allows editors of individual profiles to insert their own published work, the fields on 'selected' publications and 'selected' policy documents allow editors to indicate publications by other authors, as well as policy documents developed by other organizations, which the editor finds useful for his/her policy work and recommends to other users. 'Selected Resources' can include complementary knowledge sources which are neither publications nor policy documents.

Specific Themes: Open-ended list of detailed fields of work and interest. Specific Themes complement the list of Thematic Areas and provide further detail. Specific Themes can be edited and amended by users when they create a profile.

Thematic Areas: Broad themes that policy activities, documents and studies relate to, and that people and organizations are working on. Just like 'Levels' and 'Policy Process', 'Thematic Areas' are a cross-cutting dimension that relates to, and thus connects, the four categories 'People', 'Organizational Actors', 'Policy Documents' and 'Resources'. Thematic Areas are organized into six clusters, each containing between 3 and 9 thematic areas:

Infrastructure: Policies regarding the physical infrastructure, and the rules and standards for processing and transmission of media signals.

Distribution Platforms: Policies focusing on particular media platforms, such as print, broadcasting, or mobile telecommunication.

Media Sectors: Policies focusing on particular media sectors, such as commercial, public service, or community media.

Norms and Principles: Policies affecting fundamental rights and norms such as access, diversity, and participation.

Activities: Policies regulating the use of media technologies, media content, or that concern the very rules and processes of communication governance.

Related Policy Areas: Policies on the interaction between media and important themes such as development, environment, and gender.

Thematic areas are not exclusive elements but an expedient to allow different perspectives and ways of addressing global media policy  find their entry point into the framework. Despite the complexity of the field and the challenges posed by technolcgical and policy convergence, there is an analytical and practical need to distinguish amongst the many ways in which the boundaires of GMP can be drawn.

Type: Typologies are at the core of identifying, characterizing and relating different policy actors, inputs, outcomes, and resources. For each of the four categories, a distinct typology has been developed.

Type (People): The typology for 'People' indicates their role in the global media policy field by and includes different possible stakeholders/subjects who might have an active interest to engage with global media policy through different activities. The typology has been elaborated through an a-posteriori approach, and is therefore based on real types observed in the policy field (e.g., researcher, advocate, politician, and others).

Type (Organizational Actors): The typology of 'Organizational Actors' combines the two dimensions of 'sector' (government, business, civil society, multi-stakeholder) and structure (degree of formalization and degree of openness/inclusion and networking) that are crucial to the mapping project’s framework. Other relevant dimensions, such as level and repertoires of action, are queried separately. By aggregating some dimensions (and keeping others separate), the typology reflects existing and recognizable labels through which organizational actors are identified. It thus balances complexity with usability.

Type (Policy Documents): The typology for 'Policy Documents' includes different kinds of text-based inputs into, or outcome of, formalized and specific policy processes. It is based on real types observed in the policy field. The types differ according to their character as either binding (e.g., law) or non-binding (e.g., declaration) types of documents, and according to the authors (including both governments/institutions and advocacy organizations).

Type (Resources): The typology for 'Resources' includes different complementary sources of knowledge that can be relevant for a comprehensive understanding of policy processes and issues. The category 'Resources' combines profiles as different as research papers, course curricula, research projects, archives, and policy-related declarations. This requires a diversified typology which, while consistent with the structure applied in other categories, recognizes the diversity of possible 'Resources'. The typology balances consistency with specificity.