Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Jim Butterfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Priscilla Lambert

Third Advisor

Dr. Tetyana Koshmanova

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My research will entail the election coverage in the mainstream papers of Poland, Ukraine and Russia, these are the Gazeta Wyborcha, the Den, and the Izvestiya respectively. The diverse levels of media-freedom in the observed countries explain the difference between all three outlets in featuring political issues. The purpose of this Master's Thesis is to contrast and compare the state of the free press in Poland, Ukraine and Russia as well as the factors that determine the media-independence. In particular, these are the media-legislation, civil society and the economic performance.

This study revises the empirical claims made by Price and Krug (2000) that emphasize the interaction of laws and socio-cultural environment as the major determinants of the press freedom. I present evidence that suggests that the direction of causation runs from the institutionalized civil society to the established phenomenon of the free press. Other findings show the diverse impact of the legislation in press freedom since this variable has to be dropped into three groups of the media-related laws: those that determine the issue of ownership, access to information and media responsibility. My study promises to advance our empirical understanding of how the independent variables impact the development of the free press and to extend theoretical approaches to defining the balanced coverage as the key indicator of the media independence.