Assessing Media Pluralism in Europe: MPM2015 results published

posted on 31 March, 2016   (public)

Assessing Media Pluralism in Europe: MPM2015 results published

On 30 March 2016, the European University Institute's Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) in Florence published the outcome of the application of the MPM2015, assessing media pluralism in 19 EU Member States in 2015. The monitored countries were Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.  The 9 other Member States were assessed in the 2014 report. The present Monitor has been developed and tested by the CMPF, at the European University Institute, and has been funded by the European Parliament. The CMPF created the prototype of the Monitor and pilot-tested it in 2014 (MPM2014), building on the 2009 Independent Study on Indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member States – Towards a Risk-Based Approach. The field work was carried out until October 2015, and reflects the situation at that time. The next phase of the project, which should be carried out in 2016, will assess all EU Member States, along with two candidate countries (Turkey and Montenegro).

The CMPF, in cooperation with teams of local experts in each country, examined risks related to media pluralism using the Media Pluralism Monitoring (MPM) tool. The 2015 report identified the riskiest areas across the 19 countries, including media concentration, political independence of the media, issues related to state advertising and media literacy. The MPM uses thresholds to determine the value of indicators according to three categories of risk – low, medium or high.

The four domain risks used in the MPM2015 cover legal, economic and socio-political questions assessed by national experts:

  • ‘Basic Protection’, represents the regulatory backbone of the media sector in every contemporary democracy. Its indicators measure a number of potential areas of risk, including the existence and effectiveness of the implementation of regulatory safeguards for freedom of expression and the right to information; the status of journalists in each country; the independence and effectiveness of the national regulatory bodies (media authorities, competition authorities and electronic communications’ authorities).
  • ‘Market Plurality’ indicators deal mostly with media ownership, an economic component that is widely considered essential in the assessment of a level of media pluralism in any given context.
  • ‘Political Independence’ is a domain of risk which is assessed using indicators that are associated with the politicisation of the media, public service media, commercial media outlets, media distribution networks, and news agencies.
  • ‘Social Inclusiveness’ indicators focus on access to airtime and media platforms for different cultural and social groups, for local/regional communities, and for people with disabilities. They also consider the extent of the centralisation of media systems; the universal access to PSM and the Internet; and the quality of the countries’ media literacy policies, as well as the level of the digital media skills of the population.

The results of the MPM2015 implementation, jointly analysed with the results of the MPM2014 pilot, show the great complexity of measuring threats to media pluralism in the EU Member States.

Source: Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom