Assessing Media Pluralism in Europe: MPM2016 results published

posted on 06 June, 2017   (public)

Assessing Media Pluralism in Europe: MPM2016 results published

On 15 May 2017, the European University Institute's Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) in Florence has released the 2016 edition of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM), one of the principal measures of the risks to media pluralism in Europe. In 2016, the MPM has examined 28 European Union member states as well as two candidate countries, Montenegro and Turkey and the results show that none of these countries is free from risks for media pluralism.

Prior to the 2016 implementation, the tool has been tested under two pilot-projects co-funded by the European Union in 2014 and 2015. These two pilot-test implementations built on the prototype of the MPM that was designed in the 2009 Independent Study on Indicators for Media Pluralism in the Member States – Towards a Risk-Based Approach.

In 2016, the Monitor shows the following results across four key areas of media pluralism:

  • Basic Protection (the assessment on the fundamental elements of any plural and democratic society, namely the existence and effectiveness of the implementation of regulatory safeguards for freedom of expression and the right to information): 18 countries score low risk, 11 countries score medium risk and one country (Turkey) scores high risk.
  • Market Plurality (assesses the risks to media pluralism that arise from the level of transparency and concentration of media ownership, commercial and owner influence over editorial content, and from the economic conditions in which media operate): the vast majority of the countries under consideration score a medium risk. Two countries score high risk and only three countries score low risk.
  • Political Independence (indicators that evaluate the extent of politicisation of the media system, media organizations, newsrooms, media reporting and the public service media): a vast majority of the countries examined score a medium risk (18), eight are at low risk, and four are at high risk when it comes to political influences over different dimensions of their media operations.
  • Social Inclusiveness (the assessment of media literacy and access to media by various social and cultural groups, such as minorities, local/regional communities, people with disabilities and women): two thirds of the countries (21) are in the medium risk band, three of them score high risk and six countries low risk.

The following key findings of the 2016 edition of the MPM are noteworthy:

  • Media ownership seems to be highly concentrated and this constitute a significant barrier to diversity of information. 
  • Editorial autonomy stands as one the most vulnerable aspects of media systems, susceptible to both commercial and political influences.
  • Many of the media authorities across Europe face strong political pressures, in particular when it comes to appointment procedures and composition of authorities.
  • The majority of countries show significant risks concerning media literacy by having no or underdeveloped media literacy policy, and by dedicating limited efforts to teaching media literacy in and outside schools.

Methodology - The MPM assesses the risks for media pluralism based on a set of twenty indicators covering four different areas: Basic Protection, Market Plurality, Political Independence and Social Inclusiveness. The indicators cover legal, economic and socio-political questions. The MPM covers a broad notion of media pluralism that encompasses political, cultural, geographical, structural and content related dimensions. All types of media are covered: public service, commercial and community media. Moreover, the monitor recognises that different policies and regulatory approaches may apply to different types of media. National experts, composing the MPM network of local teams, provide the data to assess the levels of risk at country level, draft the country reports, while the CMPF supervises and guarantees quality and consistency of the data collection and assesses the levels of risk.

Source: Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom