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The Correlates of Media Freedom: An Introduction of the Global Media Freedom Dataset*

  • Jenifer Whitten-Woodring and Douglas A. Van Belle

Media freedom has motivated substantial political activism, yet there are surprising gaps in the related academic literature, in part because of a lack of historic and consistent data. We introduce the newly expanded Global Media Freedom Dataset, which includes 196 countries from 1948 to 2012, and demonstrate how it can be used to test previous hypotheses and assumptions about the correlates of media freedom.

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Jenifer Whitten-Woodring, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Political Science, Dugan Hall, 201 E, 883 Broadway Street, Lowell, MA 01854-3040 USA ( Douglas A. Van Belle, Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington, School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies, 83 Fairlie Terrace, Room 307, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand ( The authors wish to thank the associates at University of Massachusetts Lowell Center for Women and Work for their thoughtful suggestions and the editors and two anonymous reviewers at Political Science Research and Methods for their helpful comments. Any mistakes are completely authors’ own. To view supplementary material for this article, please visit

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Political Science Research and Methods
  • ISSN: 2049-8470
  • EISSN: 2049-8489
  • URL: /core/journals/political-science-research-and-methods
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