The European Media Pluralism Monitor: Bridging Law, Economics and Media Studies as a First Step towards Risk-Based Regulation in Media Markets

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Abstract:

This article discusses the Media Pluralism Monitor, a measurement tool which was developed by the authors for the European Commission in the context of the Independent study on indicators for media pluralism in the Member StatesTowards a risk-based approach, carried out between February 2008 and June 2009. After situating the study against the background of the broader EU media policy context, the article presents the main characteristics of the Monitor and explains its structure. It also addresses some implementation issues and discusses the most important comments and concerns raised by stakeholders and academics. The article argues that the Monitor adopts a novel, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to media pluralism, by combining, for the first time, indicators drawn from law, economics and social science to identify and measure risks relating to various aspects of media pluralism, including not only ownership and plurality issues, but also cultural, political and geographic dimensions. The Monitor is a first step in the development of an EU-wide standardised monitoring system for detecting and dealing with societal risks in the area of media pluralism and the first attempt to apply risk analysis to media policy. By bringing together a host of previously disparate concerns to offer a multi-faceted approach to media pluralism, the Monitor has the potential to provide decision-makers with the means to develop a wider and stronger evidentiary basis for defining priorities and actions in this important area.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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