Maria Donde elected Chair of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform (MSI-REF)

posted on 06 October, 2020   (public)

Social networks, election communication and public interest content are key issues on the agenda of MSI-REF

On 23-24 September 2020, the Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform (MSI-REF) of the Council of Europe held its first meeting to discuss and exchange on three draft policy documents. On the occasion of this first meeting, which was particularly rich in exchanges and ideas, Maria Donde, Head of international content policy at Ofcom (UK) and EPRA Vice-Chairperson, was elected Chair of the Committee.

As specified in the terms of reference, the 13 media experts of the Committee[1] (seven member States’ representatives and six independent experts) have the task to prepare, in the light of Council of Europe standards, the following documents:

  • A draft recommendation with guiding principles for media and communication governance addressing ‘the shift from established channels to social networks and of related risks (manipulation of public opinion, lack of public trust, information disorder) with a view to ensuring consistency of relevant laws and policies with Council of Europe standards on the right to freedom of expression and information’.
  • A draft recommendation on ‘election communication and media coverage of electoral campaigns’.
  • A guidance note on ‘regulatory/policy requirements, compatible with freedom of expression and information, responding to users’ needs and technical possibilities related to the prioritisation of public interest content on relevant social and search platforms and other news aggregators’.

Through the drafting of these instruments, the MIS-REF intends to tackle key challenges for audiovisual regulation. Such challenges are also regularly addressed during EPRA meetings (see below).

The Committee is expected to finalise its mission at the end of 2021.


Further EPRA background: see the documentation of the 48th EPRA meeting for key inputs on “Public service and public interest content in the digital age” and on “Political communications & the challenges of social media”.  The issue of public trust is on the agenda of the EPRA autumn session with the preparation of a podcast.

Source: Council of Europe Website

[1] Elda Brogi, Liz Carolan, Mark David Cole, Arthur Cozma, Maria Donde, Marius Dragomir, Raphaël Kies, Helena Mandić, Marko Milosavljević, Markus Oermann, Manuel Puppis, Damian Tambini, Jadranka Vojvodić