European Media Systems Survey


The European Media Systems Survey (EMSS) is a regularly repeated academic study that measures differences between national media environments in how they cover politics and public affairs. The data are collected via an online survey of several hundred specialists of media and politics in the individual countries covered. The study specifically focuses on media attributes for which no other cross-nationally comparable indicators are available. The data are made publicly available through this website. Feedback and suggestions from users can be submitted through our feedback page.

The 2010 EMSS study was the first in the series and it was funded through a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and a University of Essex research initiative support grant to Marina Popescu.

The 2013 EMSS study was funded through a small grant of the British Academy to Marina Popescu and extended the coverage of the study to Switzerland on the one hand, and to online news sources on the other.

The 2016 EMSS study will significantly shorten the questionnaire to improve response rates and at the same time further increase the number of new media outlets covered by the responses.

All EMSS surveys focused on both media content and structural characteristics, as well as the links between the two in 34 national contexts in Europe. The main topics are:
   information quality, i.e., accuracy, argument quality, depth, and contextualization in public affairs coverage;
   media partisanship;
   the pluralism of political viewpoints appearing within and across media outlets, i.e., internal and external diversity;
   structural influences on editorial content;
   journalistic professionalism;
   evaluations of the main features of public broadcasting;
   the development of online outlets; and
   overall expert evaluations of media credibility, influence and performance in the given national contexts.

A list of scholarly works that use EMSS data and we are aware of is available here.