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Pluralism in European media information

Pier Luigi Parcu explains how the centre for media pluralism contributes to the preservation of media pluralism in Europe
European institutions realized - the European Parliament and the Commission and the council - realized that they need a way to understand how is the situation of media pluralism and media freedom in the single member states. Even if the major responsibilities is still with the member states on this issues, but at least they need an instrument of control. And this for instance is the major work we are doing here at the Center for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom. We are running now for the second year - actually, we are beginning the third year - this instrument that is called the Media Pluralism Monitor. It is an instrument to measure the health of pluralism in the member states.
Essentially, what we try to do is to measure risks to pluralism in different member states. We have done this 2014 from nine member states. And then in 2015, we have just concluded the report for the other 19 members states. From 2016, this year, we are starting a new investigation that could become a permanent investigation in which we will investigate 28, all the 28 members states and two accession countries.
We look at the third image of the section. The first image is basic protection. It’s how pluralism and media freedom protected in the countries. And this should be something fundamental in all Europe . Then we look at market plurality, how concentrated are these markets, how transparent they are, how easy it is to control which are the risks? Then we look at social inclusiveness. That means we try to understand how a country is able to have a– how a country is able to have a all of its population, in a sense, included in the democratic debate. And one important element in this is media literacy.
We are very careful to try to understand , in this movement toward internet that I discussed before, toward the online world, that becomes more and more important, how the citizens of single countries are being trained and prepared to move to this new sociality. And the final dimension, if you want the most obvious very important is the control of the political independence of the media because the political independence of the media, the watchdog role of the media, offline or online, it doesn’t matter. Here it’s the same. The watchdog role is essential for democracy.
That’s a difficult question. We are not there at the moment to do a ranking of country. We rank countries by subject. There are– it’s clear for instance that the market concentration, most of the countries have a very difficult situation. There is too much media concentration in most of the countries. While in basic protection, the situation in much better, almost in all the major European countries. Some of them, for instance, the Nordic countries have a very good situation.
But still, even there, even if the basic protection is good, the basic protection means how journalists are treated, how the fundamental rights are treated, if there is freedom of expression, if there is an authority that controls whether the media are independent and free of doing their job. Still, even in these countries where the situation is better, you can still find that there is a situation of risk. And that’s what we are doing– trying to think to signal to governments where there are areas of risk, where they should have a very careful look. And we are also giving this signal to the European commission and to all the stakeholders
of the media pluralism and media freedom: all the citizens of Europe.

Pier Luigi Parcu introduces his institution, the centre for media pluralism, created by the European Union in order to assess the situation of media pluralism in the different member states.

He explains that this centre monitors media pluralism based on four dimensions: basic protection, market plurality, social inclusiveness, and political independence of the media. He notes that there is too much concentration in the media sector in Europe.

The graphics presented in the video can be consulted by clicking on the link below.

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The use of social media and online communication is often portrayed as the best proof of freedom of expression and liberty of speech. But is that really so? What are the limitations to it? Is online communication equally accessible to everyone, everywhere?

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Cultures and Identities in Europe

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