Media ownership and pluralism Kevin Istanbul final

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Published on February 19, 2008

Author: Ariane

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Media ownership and pluralism: regulatory trends and challenges in the European Union Member States :  Media ownership and pluralism: regulatory trends and challenges in the European Union Member States Presentation at the 20th EPRA meeting Istanbul October 14-15 2004 Deirdre Kevin Slide2:  This paper will present an overview of findings of the study prepared for the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the “the information of the citizen in the EU: obligations for the media and the Institutions concerning the citizen’s right to be fully and objectively informed” The research covered media ownership legislation and media landscapes of the 25 EU member states. For more information contact Deirdre Kevin: kevin@eim.org Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information:  Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information Freedom of Expression is enshrined in the Constitutions and/or legislation of all EU member states Freedom of Information is enshrined in the Constitutions of all EU member states but an access law has not yet been enacted in Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and Cyprus Media Ownership regulation:  Media Ownership regulation Competition Policy  Ownership of the press  Audiovisual media ownership regulation  Cross media ownership Countries where media specific competition policy applies: :  Countries where media specific competition policy applies: United Kingdom: Possibility of intervention by Minister in mergers concerning public interest Ireland: Attention to market shares of participants in merger and co-operation with Minister for Communications regarding mergers Germany: In Merger cases normal thresholds lowered to 1/20 and number of thresholds to invoke investigation reduced from two to one (domestic turnover). Austria: Normal turnover thresholds reduced to 1/200 for media enterprises and media services and 1/20 for media support companies. In all other countries normal Competition Rules apply with different levels of co-operation between licensing and competition authorities Media Ownership: Press :  Media Ownership: Press France: Limited by Market share: 30%. Italy: Limited by market share 20% (national) or 50% (regional) Greece: limited by the number of newspaper titles Slovenia: limitation of shares. 20% in one, limited to 20% in a second daily publication. Audiovisual Media Ownership Regulation: Member States with no or limited rules:  Audiovisual Media Ownership Regulation: Member States with no or limited rules Denmark, Finland, Sweden (radio) Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia (television) Poland (no thresholds) Portugal (television) Luxembourg (individual limited) Cross Media Ownership :  Cross Media Ownership Limited by sectors: France and Greece All links between press, radio, TV prohibited: Slovakia Licensing restrictions for actors with other media interests: Austria, One license per sector: Malta Capital/ controlling share restrictions for actors with other media interests: Hungary, Slovenia, Ireland, Cyprus Relaxation of rules: UK (2003), Netherlands (future plans) (in both cases licensing affected by market shares). Abolition of rules (press and broadcasting): Italy (2008) Limited rules: Germany (regional), Belgium (Flanders), Estonia No restrictions in Spain, Poland, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Belgium (Walloon), Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Luxembourg. Summary of media ownership :  Summary of media ownership Mechanisms and criteria used:  Mechanisms and criteria used a limitation on the number of licenses, or a refusal to grant licenses based on other media assets (as mentioned above) a restriction on individual ownership (through capital shares or voting shares) which can be held in one broadcasting outlet, or subsequently in a second broadcasting outlet. Market share measured through readership and audience Market share measures through advertising or industry revenue prevention of Dominant Position: market share and/or Media Assets transparency of media ownership Market concentration(audience/circulation):  Market concentration(audience/circulation) Cross Media Ownership: Sectors with the same actors:  Cross Media Ownership: Sectors with the same actors Concentration and regulation some anomalies:  Concentration and regulation some anomalies A typology of systems:  A typology of systems Liberal and plural? The Scandinavian Approach Baltic States –Liberal approach, endangered pluralism? Central Eastern Europe – different models, the same result North European approach – with gradual deregulation Continental Europe and constitutional traditions Regulation with multi-media empires No regulation: multi-media empires Some problematic issues regarding the control of media concentration:  Some problematic issues regarding the control of media concentration True transparency of ownership Political influence on implementation of regulation Lack of regulation leading to multi-media empires Highly regulated systems: after the fact Importance of foreign media (transfrontier) in smaller national markets Major differences in market size Foreign ownership of the media Political ownership of the media Slide16:  Recommendations Reliable data regarding circulation and audience figures in order to determine market shares of media outlets Greater transparency of media ownership for public as well as relevant authorities European observatory focusing on media markets and concentration, data-base Competition Policy (at both national and EU level) should recognise the specific cultural and democratic importance of the media industries Sector-specific media ownership regulations are necessary. Monitoring of media concentration part of the remit of the Broadcasting regulatory authorities? Internal pluralism and programming obligations Strong, independent and financially secured Public Service Broadcasting Digital television environment: monitoring of vertical integration Studies and further research re. pluralism of local media Content analysis re. Internal pluralism of media

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