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European University Institute

Spring 2013 E- Digest of the activities of the
Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF)

In this issue: News | Open Calls | Past Events | Upcoming Events | External Activities

 CMPF NEWS

POLICY REPORT

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In January the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), at the European University Institute’s Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, released a policy report on: European Union Competencies in Respect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom. This independent policy report, written at the request of the European Commission, presents the phenomena of media freedom and pluralism, and the major academic and policy debates surrounding their social, political, economic role and implications. It highlights the importance of media freedom and pluralism for the functioning, sustainability and legitimacy of a democratic government, and therefore the necessity for relevant policy actions. The text provides a state-of-the-art perspective on measuring and evaluating media pluralism. It analyses major aspects of media economics and especially ownership, including the concentration tendency, the relationship between pluralism and the increase in online sources, the impact of emerging online-only media companies, and globalisation. The legal core of the report examines the development of the debate on legal instruments and jurisprudence, as well as the EU legal instruments currently available to tackle media pluralism and media freedom. As there are currently few EU instruments and a general legal uncertainty in this field, the report suggests how the legislation in force could be used or modified in order to foster media freedom and pluralism in a more efficient way. This policy report is written by the permanent team of the CMPF: Elda Brogi, Andrea Calderaro, Alina Dobreva, Giovanni Gangemi, Paula Gori, under the general supervision of its Director Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu.

The Report is available at the following link:
http://cmpf.eui.eu/publications/policyreport.aspx


CMPF ONLINE MAGAZINE

CMPF blog

In March 2013, the CMPF launched its blog “Media Freedom and Plurality”. The website is an online magazine covering different topics related with media pluralism and media freedom. The platform works essentially as an aggregator of news and presents a weekly selection of the best media freedom related news curated by the CMPF academic team. It collates relevant news, coming from the most important and reliable sources: online versions of the main English language newspapers, broadcasters, international organisations and institutions official websites, ONGs, influent blogs. The blog relies on four different sections, covering different aspects of media pluralism and freedom.

The first section is devoted to Freedom of Expression and Human Rights. This section includes news and information related to freedom of expression and human rights. Here, particular attention is paid to reporting the international debate, exploring opportunities offered by media for monitoring theviolation of human rights, and threats to freedom of expression.

The second section focuses on the issues of Meda & Politics. Here it is possible to find the recent developments of the institutional debate about media freedom and pluralism. The section mainly covers news about public initiatives promoted by national and international organisations, the publication of documents and reports and the organisation and the outcomes of conferences and other international events. 

The third section is about Media Economy. It aims at examining the current trends in media industry, its players, and their impact on media pluralism and media freedom. The changes in business models and in product value chain, the mergers and acquisitions affecting market concentration, the growth of new online players are among the topics that are covered.

The purpose of the fourth section, Media Law and Regulation, is to focus on the debate on new trends of international, European and national legislation and case law in the media sector.  The selection covers a wide range of topics: from the regulation of audiovisual media services to e.commerce; from the electronic communications regulation to the law issues related to internet-based services and communications.

For more information, visit the blog at:
http://blogs.eui.eu/cmpf/


 OPEN CALLS

SUMMER SCHOOL FOR JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA PRACTITIONERS

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CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
We are pleased to announce
The Summer School for Journalists and Media Practitioners
Florence, Italy
13-17 May 2013

Building on its successful experience, this year’s Summer School will present an opportunity to 25-30 journalists and media practitioners, mainly from Europe, to learn about the latest academic research, policy, market and professional trends in the area as well as to share their practical experiences, ideas and points of view. The Summer School programme is structured around keynote presentations by distinguished experts and follow-up interactive small group discussions and Q&A sessions. Topics include:

  • Freedom of Expression, Pluralism and the Changing Media: Legal Perspective
  • Business Models for the Media and their Consumers
  • Investigative Journalism – Risks and Opportunities
  • New Media, New Challenges for Journalists
  • The Ethics and Dangers of Being a Journalist

Participants: the Summer School is open to journalists and other stakeholders of the media industry, e.g. publishers, network operators, content and service providers, citizens associations, and regulatory authorities, coming mainly from the EU member states. We aim at having participants from all media platforms and a variety of countries. The selection of participants will be made by the CMPF based on the information provided on the application form. Participation in the Summer School is free of charge and includes local accommodation, while travel expenses to Florence will be reimbursed up to a ceiling of 400 Euro. Acceptance to the Summer School is conditional upon submitting a two-page case study on a best/worst practice of media freedom and pluralism protection (further instructions will be given to the accepted candidates together with their conditional offer of a place on the Summer School). All participants are expected to be present for all the five days of training and to contribute actively to the roundtables and small group discussions, as well as to get acquainted with the materials distributed before their arrival at the Summer School.

Presenters: academics affiliated to CMPF and renowned experts and journalists. The list with confirmed speakers will be regularly updated on this page where you can also see the list of last year’s speakers.

Outcome: networking among participants, namely journalists; shared knowledge of common European journalistic professional rights and rules; strategies for the development of pluralism and freedom in the new media. A certificate will be awarded to each participant successfully completing the training course.

Application deadline – 22 March 2013
Selected candidates will be contacted on 29 March 2013
Submission deadline for case studies – 12 April 2013

For more information please visit:
http://cmpf.eui.eu/training/summer-school-2013.aspx


CALL FOR PAPERS


New Media and Journalism:
challenges and opportunities for Media Freedom

Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom/RSC Working Paper Series:
‘Freedom and Pluralism of the Media, Society and Markets’

The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom is inviting submissions for its working paper series entitled 'Freedom and Pluralism of the Media, Society and Markets'.

The Working Paper Series benefits from contributions from the Centre’s fellows as well as from leading scholars and experienced practitioners interested in and focused on the subject matter. The Working Paper Series aims at assessing theoretical issues, specific policies, and regulatory questions. The selection of the Working Papers  takes place following a peer-review process. Submissions should address novel research in the field of:

  1. Impact of new technological developments over media freedom and pluralism: new opportunities and challenges for journalistic performance;
  1. Citizens journalism: opportunities of new media, current trends, whistleblowing;
  1. Fact check: accountability of sources, liability of information, protection of sources;
  1. Statutes of journalists: being freelancers, rights of journalists, copyrights, private and self-censorship;

Selected papers are published both in paper and in digital copy on the EUI Repository webpage.

Papers must be submitted by 14 April to: cmpf@eui.eu

In order to discuss the suitability of your paper in the working paper series, or if you have any further inquiries, please contact the Centre at: cmpf@eui.eu


 PAST EVENTS

POLICY CONFERENCE - EU Competencies in Respect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom

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On October 29 2012 the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom organised a policy conference to present the early outcomes of its report on “European Union Competencies in Respect of Media Pluralism and Media Freedom”, commissioned by the European Commission.

Within the framework of the multidisciplinary approach on media freedom and pluralism employed by the CMPF, the conference brought together scholars, regulators and experts to discuss the implications of the concepts of media freedom and pluralism in Europe in the different areas of research: socio-political, economic and legal. In particular, the conference focused on the state-of-the-art of the EU legislation on media pluralism and freedom, and on possible soft and hard legal instruments that are (or could be) currently available to tackle the media pluralism and media freedom issue. The EU Treaties do not provide a specific competence to the European Union on media pluralism and media freedom: nonetheless, the EU has not been “neutral” on these topics and media pluralism is a principle that can operate and be implemented at various levels in the EU order. The conference aimed at suggesting whether these competences should be enhanced and improved to introduce some possible legal basis for a more pro-active role of the European Union and how the legislation in force could be used or modified in order to foster media freedom and pluralism more efficiently.

In the first session, Alina Dobreva (CMPF) framed the concepts of media freedom and pluralism and their importance for the functioning, sustainability and legitimacy of a democratic regime. Andrea Calderaro (CMPF) addressed the question of media pluralism measurement, comparing quantitative and qualitative methodologies, and considered the difference between standardising and contextualising approaches. Prof. Paolo Mancini (University of Perugia) underlined the differences between internal and external pluralism, discussing whether the abundance of suppliers brought by new media has overcome the problem of the scarcity of sources of information, or not. Finally Prof. Steven Barnett (University of Westminster), who concluded the session, discussed the topic of the difficult relationship between media freedom and political power, starting from the British case of the phone hacking scandal.

The second session's theme was the economic aspects of media pluralism. Giovanni Gangemi (CMPF) analysed the new potential threats to media pluralism and freedom brought about by the risk of concentration in the online media, the lack of a clear definition of relevant and geographical markets and excessive fragmentation of the European media markets in the globalised media economy. The question of media concentration was also addressed by Prof. Eli Noam (Columbia University) who provided an overview of the results of the on-going study on media concentration worldwide that he has led over the past few years. Prof. Gillian Doyle (University of Glasgow) discussed the relationship between media ownership concentration and media pluralism and the impact of support measures for content, such as subsidies and quotas, in order to sustain media pluralism and diversity. Finally, Prof. Marco Gambaro (University of Milan) remarked that on the one hand, within online media, many players are merely aggregators, hardly involved in the production of original content. On the other hand, there is a new kind of competition between amateur and professional news suppliers, which is radically changing the existing business models of news.

The European competencies on media pluralism and media freedom, the legal core of the report, was the topic of the third and fourth sessions: the third session was dedicated to the current EU competencies in respect of media pluralism and freedom and the parallel CoE activity while the fourth was devoted to the proposals for possible instruments to tackle media pluralism and freedom issues. The overview introduced by Paula Gori (CMPF) started from a recall of the past steps of the debate and moved to the current AVMS Directive, to situation in the public service broadcasting sector, to the role played by Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (“the Charter”) and by Article 10 of the European Convention on Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the importance the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and of the activity of the Council of European (CoE). After having a look also at the Telecommunications Package a certain legal uncertainty with regard the intermediaries, aggregators and other hybrid platforms emerged. Elda Brogi (CMPF) made a presentation aimed at suggesting how the legislation in force could be used or modified by the EU in order to foster media freedom and pluralism in a more efficient way. The “constitutional” starting point of any discussion on media freedom and pluralism is Article 11 of the Charter as linked with Article 10 ECHR in the framework of the Council of Europe. As it has also been mentioned by Prof. Roberto Mastroianni (University of Naples, Federico II), according to the Treaties, the ECHR is a source of interpretation of the EU Charter provisions and the standards on media freedom and media pluralism developed by the ECtHR must be followed by EU legislation.

Another potential EU intervention highlighted by Elda Brogi and discussed in the policy report was the approximation of national legislation in key areas in media policy such as ownership regulation. The topic of media ownership was then discussed from the perspective of national policies, by Susanne Nikoltchev (European Audiovisual Observatory) who considered the opportunity of applying media ownership regulations in the new media environment; Rachael Craufurd Smith (University of Edinburgh) discussed the possibility of an EU harmonization intervention on media ownership transparency.  Moreover, Brogi, in line with the CMPF report, mentioned other possible EU level intervention tools, such as the creation of a network of independent national regulatory authorities dealing with the application of harmonized EU legislation in the media field and  the attribution of more competencies to an existing body, the Fundamental Right Agency, in order to monitor and circulate best media policy practices among member states. Konstantina Bania (CMPF) discussed another suggestion of the policy CMPF Report, namely the interpretation of Article 167 (4) TFEU as a useful legal instrument in force to direct the implementation of competition rules by the EC, stressing the obligation for the Commission to cater for pluralism Federica Casarosa (EUI-Mediadem) illustrated possible EU soft law instruments to foster media pluralism and media freedom. In order to discuss the role of national regulatory authorities, Prof. Annetje Ottow (University of Amsterdam) described the differences between telecoms and media regulators. Prof. Oreste Pollicino and Marco Bassini (University of Milan, Bocconi) gave an overview of the new legal issues that internet and new media are increasingly being faced with.

In concluding the policy conference, Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu (CMPF) underlined the effort made by the CMPF report to take into consideration social and economic implications related to policies on media pluralism and media freedom, as well as the study on legal instruments. With regards to the latter, even though the EU competencies with regard to media pluralism appear scattered in the European legal landscape, it is certainly not correct to affirm that the EU has no competencies in this field.

Full video and presentations are available at:
http://cmpf.eui.eu/events/policy-conference.aspx

ACADEMIC SEMINARS

CMPF Lecture Series on “Freedom and Pluralism of the Media in Europe”

The CMPF Lecture Series is an interdisciplinary academic programme addressing issues of freedom of expression and pluralism of the media within the European University Institute. By involving PhD students, Fellows and Faculty from Economics, Law, Political and Social Sciences and History departments, the programme covers the most recent advancements in academic and policy debate on freedom in traditional and new media. The list of speakers includes outstanding experts in the field of media freedom and pluralism from academia, international organizations, and the private sector.

Over the course of 2012, the CMPF welcomed speakers with diverse backgrounds and profiles in order to create an ideal space of discussion for policy implications related to novel debates on media freedom, new media, and freedom of expression from complementary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The lecture series included 5 lectures during fall semester 2012:

  • In her lecture entitled "The Role of Transparency in an Information Society", Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst at Google, introduced the Google Transparency Report. In particular, she discussed the key role of transparency reporting, and explained how this can provide modern checks and balances in the information age.

  • Jeanette Hofmann, from the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB) and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), focused in her lecture, entitled "SOPA, PIPA, ACTA: What can be learned from a series of dead regulatory projects?", on the challenges evident from European and US debates in the field of copyright regulations and the circulation of digital contents.

  • The issue of "Media Ownership Concentration in Europe and the World, and the Digital Challenge" was explored by Eli Noam from the Columbia Business School. Noam’s lecture compared media concentration in Europe with other regions, and considered whether and how the Internet offers new opportunities to overcome media concentration.

  • Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, from the Oxford Internet Institute/University of Oxford, gave a lecture entitled "Regulating Remembering – On the Proposed EU Right to be forgotten". This focused on the consequences of comprehensive digital memory, and proposed draft European Union regulation on the "right to be forgotten" and privacy.

  • Finally, in her lecture on "Freedom of Expression and Human Rights: Why Online Speech Isn't Free, yet", Jillian York from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, explored the various types of control that governments exert on their online citizens. She focused on Middle East and North Africa, and addressed different actors’ responses and effort to curb the tide of censorship and surveillance.

Please find further information about past and forthcoming lectures here: http://cmpf.eui.eu/seminars/index.aspx

 

  -- Upcoming Events --

11 March 2013 - CMPF Seminar - Definition of relevant markets in traditional and online media

agcom-stripeThe issue of the appropriate definition of relevant markets is becoming increasingly important in light of the fact that new digital native players are beginning to have an increasingly relevant share in the advertising markets. Up to now, no clear distinction has been made between the different types of online advertising, in order to understand to what extent search engines, aggregators, social networks and other types of players, who are based on the internet, should be considered as competitors to traditional media outlets. In his talk, Marco Delmastro (Agcom), will discuss the outcomes and the methodology of studies carried out by the Italian convergent regulator Agcom in these fields in recent years.

  -- External activities --

28 February - 1 March 2013, Alina Dobreva participated in a conference “Audiences, media environments and democratization after the Arab spring”, organized by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at University of Oxford. The event concentrated on the media environment and audiences in the Arab spring countries in the context of previous waves of democratization in Europe. Alina Dobreva presented a paper “Audiences and Post-Communist Transition: Personal Predispositions and Information Processing” and chaired a session on “Institutions and processes of democratization”

7 February 2013, Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu participated in the final conference on "Media freedom and independence: Trends and challenges in Europe” in the framework of "European Media Policies Revisited: Valuing & Reclaiming Free and Independent Media in Contemporary Democratic Systems" project (MEDIADEM) . The conference was co-organised by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ). Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu spoke on the need for the adoption of a technology neutral approach to media regulation.

26 November 2012, Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu gave a speech about the impact of regulation in the evolving media market at the conference “Media economy, today”, organised by ISIMM, LUSPIO and Fondazione Calamandrei in Rome. The conference, attended also by Giovanni Gangemi, focused on several topics related with media industry and economy: the new business models, the impact of internet in the audiovisual sector and the consequences on media pluralism. The event was also the occasion to assess the current regulatory framework and to evaluate possible changes in the converging media markets. The discussion involved representatives of the academia, media experts, media regulators, as well as representatives of some relevant media firms. The debate was opened by the European Commission.

15-17 November 2012, Alina Dobreva participated in two events organized by the Media and Democracy in Central Eastern Europe Project (ERC funded project, hosted by University of Oxford and also supported by the LSE). The first event was a joint MediaDem & MDCEE Projects dissemination event and the second one was a conference on Political Parties and Party Systems in Central and Eastern Europe.

15-16 November 2012, Prof. Pier Luigi Parcu spoke about 'What next for the EU and EC? Are there any standards in media freedom and media pluralism?' in a conference on current issues of Hungarian media regulation organized by Mertek Media Monitor in Budapest. Mertek is an NGO, independent from the Hungarian media regulatory bodies. Its members represent different disciplines (law, journalism, economics, sociology) and the goal of this media regulatory think-tank is to offer an alternative to the current Hungarian media regulation.

6-9 November 2012, Andrea Calderaro participated in the 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

7 November 2012, Giovanni Gangemi participated in the event that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO). The event took place in Strasbourg, within the Council of Europe and focused on the issue of media concentration. The discussion involved representatives of the academia, media experts as well as the whole board of the EAO. The European Audiovisual Observatory is established within the Council of Europe.

24-27 October 2012, Alina Dobreva participated in the 4th European Communication Conference, organized by ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) in Istanbul. The conference gathered leading media and communication scholars from throughout Europe and beyond. It consisted of 17 thematic sections, a plethora of working groups and research networks. Alina Dobreva presented a paper about media and corruption (“Arm-length distance or greasing palms? Collusive relationships between journalists and politicians in six new democracies”) as part of the Political Communication thematic section.

EUCentre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom - European University Institute Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies - Convento -Via delle Fontanelle 19 - 50014 - San Domenico di Fiesole - Italy. cmpf@eui.eu