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European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing & Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems (MEDIADEM)
 

European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing & Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems (MEDIADEM)

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A definition of pluralism in the media sector. Comparing the results of the European projects with an interdisciplinary approach ...

A definition of pluralism in the media sector. Comparing the results of the European projects with an interdisciplinary approach
Evangelia Psychogiopoulou and Federica Casarosa
Florence, 27-28/4/2012.

More info at: http://cmpf.eui.eu/events/definition-of-pluralism.aspx

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  • Media policy has become an increasingly elusive policy field to demarcate. Changes caused by technological convergence (blurring the distinction among industry sectors, and consequently between services provided and the platforms used to deliver them) → market convergence and technical convergence Media policy has been mainly conceived as the policy that aims to shape the conduct of the mass media , essentially press and broadcasting, as media of “public communication” (different from telecommunications policy where telecommunication networks are carriers of “private communication” between individuals). Now the media policy cannot be restraint to mass media and the processes through which communication takes place from one point to many points (possible regulatory convergence between telecommunication and media policy?) The project does not want to provide a new definition of media policy, rather it takes for granted a simpler approach where media policy goes down to its basic element regulation of media systems . The project then narrows down the focus to a distinct media policy domain that specifically seeks to create an enabling environment for the media to perform as agents of information and debate that facilitate the functioning of democracy.
  • One conception of policy formulation sees it as a disinterested process involving neutral problem-solving issues and driven by technological progress thus presenting it as a bureaucratic... . Instead , media policy making is a fundamentally political and conflict-ridden process , that involves competing political and corporate interests that seek to impose particular values and priorities on how the media should be structured and should operate. Also policy implementation that follow the adoption of norms and rules regulating the media, and deal with their application in the broad sense should not be seen as an automatic or unhindered process. Once media policy goals and regulatory instruments has been identified, putting such decisions into practice and ensuring that policy delivers the desired results is not automatic . Instead, rules and regulations introduced could be misapplied or ignored without any intervention of those bodies in charge of monitoring compliance and ensure enforcement (courts).
  • In order to understand the nature and the content of the policy decisions taken, and their logic and rational , the project examines who the policy participants are (actors), what interests they represent, the degree of authority and power they enjoy, the levels at which they operate (venues), and the way in which they negotiate and influence the shaping of media policy decisions (processes). Actors: courts are a trigger for development of professional regulation towards a more inclusive approach (extension for bloggers) Processes: distinction between vertical and horizontal . The former focus on state-based policy-making and its interplay with supra-national and sub-national media policy-making processes. Horizontal arrangements refer to state regulation as well as processes of self-and coregulation, which imply media regulation by state actors, non-state actors and by state and non-state actors respectively. Distinction between collective (above) and single approach (e.g. individualised self-regulation, self-organisation or organisational media governance)
  • Media freedom as a corollary to foe: freedom of expression can also be construed as guaranteeing freedom of the media and hence freedom to provide a private media service as affirmed by ECtHR on Article 10 ECHR. The reasoning embodied in the Court’s rulings is founded on the acceptance of a negative protection duty of ‘non-interference’ . The project does not address media pluralism as such, but a ssumes that the concept of media pluralism encompasses many of the key characteristics of free and independent media, either in its external (diversity of media outlets) and internal (diversity of content) aspects. In particular it acknowledges that regulatory action designed to guarantee diversity of media structures and diversity of content is essential for the establishment and consolidation of a free and independent media environment.
  • Antinomy between state control on the one hand, and dominant economic and political interests on the other is outdated. Independent media should be free from external direction and control, under multifaceted cases. 1. Ownership: Certain types of owner are more likely to take an interventionist stance than others. Partisan bodies, for example, such as political or religious organisations, usually obtain media interests specifically to further their opinions or beliefs. Ownership by the state or major corporations with wide-ranging interests also raises particular concerns about the capacity of the press to perform its “watchdog” function. 2. Finance: sponsorship and advertising; individual subscriptions; donations by charities, corporations or individuals; and state aid. 3. Information gathering: Those who control access to topical information, notably governments and their press officers, exert considerable influence over what the media report and when and how they report it.

European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing & Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems (MEDIADEM) European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing & Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems (MEDIADEM) Presentation Transcript