Findings

Credits: yuheitomi/Creative Commons

Phase I

Media policies and regulatory practices in a selected set of European countries, the European Union and the Council of Europe

A comprehensive collective report discussing media policy and regulation in 14 European countries was produced in the context of the MEDIADEM project. The report discusses the configuration of the media landscape in the countries under study, explores the main regulatory instruments used to govern the media, and assesses the implications of the policies conducted for democratic politics.

The report also contains an analysis of the media-related activities of the European Union and the Council of Europe, focusing on the interventions that are relevant for the protection and promotion of media freedom and independence.

You may download the collective report here. Individual chapters are also available in pdf format: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Spain (also available in Spanish), Turkey, the UK, EU/CoE.

The formation and implementation of national media policies in Europe and their relationship to democratic society and media freedom and independence: A theoretical and analytical frame for the MEDIADEM project

A theoretical report clarifying basic concepts and analytical issues upon which MEDIADEM research is based and pursued was produced. The report conceptualises media policy in an increasingly converged and integrated media environment, and discusses its relationship to democracy, as well as its nature, scope, making and implementation. The report further explores the concept of media freedom and independence, which is identified as a distinct area for the study of media policy, and examines present practice and potential of regulation in the field. The report is available here.

Phase II

Case study reports – Does media policy promote media freedom and independence?

14 case study reports discussing the policy processes and the regulatory tools that have a bearing on the development of free and independent media in the countries covered by the MEDIADEM project were issued. The case study reports engage in an empirical study of the institutional dynamics of media policy-making in the countries under review. They also examine the regulatory framework governing the media, investigating whether the domestic rules, as enacted and implemented, facilitate the development of free and independent media. The methodology employed for the case study reports combines an examination of primary resources, secondary literature and semi-structured interviews with policy-makers, journalists and independent media regulators, amongst others.

In more detail, the reports:

  • Identify the institutional structures and the actors involved in media policy formulation and implementation, inquiring into the values that guide their activities, in particular freedom of expression and the right to information;
  • Investigate the formulation and implementation of the legal rules concerned with the configuration of the media market and the diversification of media content;
  • Examine journalists’ professional practices and autonomy;
  • Explore the media literacy initiatives adopted at a state and non-state level, the degree to which they are underpinned by freedom of expression and information standards, and media transparency.

You may download the case study reports in pdf format: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Romania, Slovakia (also available in Slovakian), Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

Phase III

Comparative reports – Similarities and differences across the MEDIADEM countries

A collection of reports, entitled Media freedom and independence in 14 European countries: A comparative perspective, was published. The reports focus on a comparative analysis of the most pertinent questions and key issue areas for media freedom and independence across the MEDIADEM countries. Based on the project’s empirical research, these reports examine and analyse the contribution (or not) of different media policy patterns to the promotion of free and independent media. The reports address:

a) the freedom and independence of public service media in the MEDIADEM countries;

b) the relationship between politics and the media in five Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Romania and Slovakia;

c) trends and policy approaches pertaining to new media services in the MEDIADEM countries;

d) the professional autonomy in journalism as a factor for safeguarding freedom of expression in the MEDIADEM countries; and

e) the role of the European courts in shaping media policies in the MEDIADEM countries.

MEDIADEM’s comparative output also comprises a report entitled The regulatory quest for free and independent media. This report examines the different forms of media regulation currently in place in the fourteen countries covered by the MEDIADEM project with a view to identifying common patterns, best practices and emerging problems. The report adopts an integrated notion of media, including digital media, and examines: a) different levels of regulation (national and European regulatory processes, stemming from both the European Union and the Council of Europe); and b) various forms of regulation (public and private regulation, hybrids thereof, and multiple institutional and governance arrangements).

Phase IV

Media policy development: Policy suggestions for the promotion of media freedom and independence

The fourth stage of the project involved the formulation of policy guidelines for the promotion of free and independent media on the basis of the project’s findings. These address state and non-state actors involved in media policy‐making, the European Union and the Council of Europe. Our policy recommendations take the form of a collective policy report and three policy briefs forming part of MEDIADEM’s policy brief series.

- The collective policy report addressing state and non-state actors involved in the design and implementation of media policies supportive of media freedom and independence, the European Union and the Council of Europe  comprises policy papers with recommendations for the promotion of media freedom and independence in the 14 MEDIADEM countries. In addition, it formulates policy recommendations addressing the Council of Europe and the European Union and offers a regulatory matrix that provides an overview of the regulatory systems at work in the 14 countries under study. The collective report is available here (in English). The policy paper concerning the Council of Europe and the European Union including the regulatory matrix is also available individually here.

- The policy papers for the promotion of media freedom and independence in the 14 countries covered by the MEDIADEM project are also available in the official language(s) of the countries concerned. In addition to the recommendations targeting national media policy-makers and other stakeholders, these policy papers include a succinct summary of the project’s recommendations for the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe with a view to encouraging the sharing of results and strengthening communication among national and European policy actors.

Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Belgium (in Dutch);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Belgium (in French);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Bulgaria (in Bulgarian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Croatia (in Croatian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Denmark (in Danish);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Estonia (in Estonian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Finland (in Finish);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Germany (in German);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Greece (in Greek);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Italy (in Italian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Romania (in Romanian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Slovakia (in Slovakian);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Spain (in Spanish);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in Turkey (in Turkish);
Policy suggestions for free and independent media in the United Kingdom (in English).

MEDIADEM’s policy brief series comprises:

- The first MEDIADEM policy brief, which contains key observations on how to understand ‘free and independent’ media and puts together broad policy recommendations for their promotion (June 2011). Available in English (also at the Research and Innovation – SSH website of the European Commission) and Greek.

- The second MEDIADEM policy brief, which identifies the main constraints or threats to the operation of free and independent media in the 14 countries under study and makes specific recommendations as to how these concerns might be addressed in practice by the various stakeholders (September 2012). Available here and at the Research and Innovation – SSH website of the European Commission.

- The third MEDIADEM policy brief focuses on the role of the EU and the Council of Europe in supporting media freedom and independence (March 2013). Available here.

Other publications

- Understanding media policies: A European perspective

Edited by E. Psychogiopoulou, the book, entitled ‘Understanding media policies: A European perspective’, inquires into the formulation of contemporary European media policies and the factors and conditions that affect their making. Combining a country-based study in 14 countries with a comparative analysis across various types of media services, the volume explores how media policies are understood, negotiated and applied, testifying to the array of policy approaches and regulatory practices established to govern the media.

Contents:

List of Tables and Figures
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Recasting the Contours of Media Policy in a Political Context: An Introduction; E. Psychogiopoulou & D. Anagnostou
Media Policy in Belgium: How a Complex Institutional System Deals with Technological Developments; B. Van Besien & P-F. Docquir
Democracy and the Media in Bulgaria: Who Represents the People?; R. Smilova, D. Smilov & G. Ganev
Croatia: A Dynamic Evolvement of Media Policy; P. Bilić & N. Švob-Đokić
Danish Media Policy; H. Søndergaard & R. Helles
Media Policy in Estonia: Small Market Paradoxes; U. Loit & H. Harro-Loit
Finnish Media Policy: Less Restrictive, More Directive; H. Kuutti, E. Lauk, P. Nevalainen & R. Sokka
Media Policy in Germany: Main Features and Current Issues; S. Müller & C. Gusy
The Greek Media Policy Revisited; E. Psychogiopoulou, A. Kandyla & D. Anagnostou
Italian Media Policy Under On-going Transition to Meet the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century; F. Casarosa
Struggling with Media Capture: Romania; A. Mungiu-Pippidi & C. Ghinea
Slovakia: Reinventing Media Policy without a Practical Perspective; A. Školkay & M. Hong
Media Policy in Spain: Public Service, Free Competition and some Internal Diversity; S. de la Sierra, E. Guichot, M. Mantini & I. Sobrino
Turkish Media Policy in National Context; D. Kurban & E. Elmas
Media Policy in the United Kingdom: Trust and Distrust in a Converging Media Environment; R. Craufurd Smith & Y. Stolte
Serving Two Masters: The Roles of the Market and European Politics in the Governance of Media Transformations; K. Sarikakis
References
Index

Endorsements:

‘This very timely, extremely valuable and well-organised collection of informative analyses of media policies in Europe is essential reading for anyone interested in media policy debates, institutional arrangements and regulatory practices within a wide framework of conflicting interests and differing national approaches to communication challenges. Highly commendable!’ – Petros Iosifidis, Director of the MA Media and Communication courses, City University London, UK

‘Understanding Media Policies puts together fascinating evidence of the patchwork of national media policy models in Europe, yet it provides a common background for their comparison. This is a valuable contribution to the growing literature in media policy studies, with compelling descriptions of politics shaping media landscapes’ – Beata Klimkiewicz, The Jagiellonian University, Poland

The following extracts from the editor’s original peer-reviewed and pre-copyedited manuscript can be found here with the permission of Palgrave Macmillan:

  • E. Psychogiopoulou (ed.), ‘Index

The definitive version of these pieces may be found in Understanding media policies edited by E. Psychogiopoulou which can be accessed from www.palgrave.com.

- Media policies revisited. The challenge for media freedom and independence

What are the characteristics that render the media free and independent, and do European media policies develop in ways that promote media freedom and independence? What are the main constraints or threats to the operation of free and independent media, and what are the policy processes, institutional structures, regulatory practices and tools that can help counteract these? MEDIADEM’s second collective volume, entitled ‘Media policies revisited. The challenge for media freedom and independence’ (edited by E. Psychogiopoulou) explores key features of media policies and regulation in fourteen countries, investigating their strengths and weaknesses in the protection of media freedom and the promotion of independent media behaviour.

Contents:

Introduction; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou;

The Emerging Governance Pattern in Media and Communications; Petros Iosifidis
Media Freedom and Independence in Contemporary Democratic Societies; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

PART I: MEDIA POLICY PROCESSES AND REGULATORY PATTERNS
Media Policy and New Regulatory Systems in Denmark; Henrik Søndergaard and Rasmus Helles
Multi-Level and Interrelated Media Policy Processes in Germany: An Enabling or Constraining Factor for Free and Independent Media?; Sebastian Müller and Christoph Gusy
The ‘Piranha’ Model: Power Plays and Dynamics of Policy-Making Addressing Free and Independent Media in Romania; Ioana Avadani and Cristian Ghinea
The National versus the European: The Croatian Roadmap to Media Freedom and Independence; Nada Švob-Đokić and Paško Bilić

PART II: COURTS
The Role of Courts in Protecting the Freedom of Expression in Italy; Federica Casarosa and Elda Brogi
The Freedom of Expression in the Media and the Slovak Judiciary; Andrej Školkay
Protecting the Public Interest in a Free Press: The Role of Courts and Regulators in the United Kingdom; Yolande Stolte and Rachael Craufurd Smith

PART III: MEDIA FINANCE AND BUSINESS MODELS
Changing Conditions of Competition for Public Service and Commercial Media in Belgium: Implications for Media Independence; Pierre-François Docquir and Bart Van Besien
New Business Models for the Media: The Spanish Case; Juan Luis Manfredi and Juan Pablo Artero
The Media in Bulgaria: Business Enterprises or PR Divisions of Business Groups?; Ruzha Smilova

PART IV: THE JOURNALISTIC PROFESSION
The State of the Journalistic Profession in Turkey; Ceren Sözeri and Dilek Kurban
The Role of Professional Journalism in the ‘Small’ Estonian Democracy; Halliki Harro-Loit and Urmas Loit
Journalists’ Self-Regulation in Greece; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou, Anna Kandyla and Dia Anagnostou
Ethical Demands and Responsibilities in Online Publishing: The Finnish Experience; Epp Lauk and Heikki Kuutti

Conclusion: Towards Media Freedom and Independence; Evangelia Psychogiopoulou

You may order this publication through the website of the publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

- MEDIADEM report on project output and areas for future research

This report seeks to evaluate the lessons learnt from MEDIADEM’s research and to assess the communication strategy employed for the diffusion of project findings to various stakeholders at the national and European levels. On the basis of the research conducted, the report  also considers follow-up research directions in the field of media policy and regulation, and media freedom and independence. The report is available here.