Interconnected subjects – Interconnected public. The Internet as a platform for a European societal consciousness

Edited by E. Psychogiopoulou, prostate the book, health entitled ‘Understanding media policies: A European perspective’, hygiene 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.

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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. Bili? & N. Švob-?oki?
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

More information about ‘Understanding media policies: A European perspective’ can be found at the website of the publisher Palgrave Macmillan.

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 and D. Anagnostou, ‘Recasting the contours of media policy in a political context : ‘An introduction
  • 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.

Credits: yuheitomi/Creative Commons

Phase I

Media policies and regulatory practices in a selected set of European countries, diagnosis
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, medic
explores the main regulatory instruments used to govern the media, physiotherapist
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 have been 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, has just been 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 involves 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.

MEDIADEM’s policy brief series presently 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.

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. Bili? & N. Švob-?oki?
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.

MEDIADEM organised a panel entitled ‘The politics of media policy in Europe’ under section ‘Communication Law and Policy’ at ECREA’s 4th European Communication Conference (24-27 October 2012) in Istanbul, pharm Turkey.  The aim of the panel was to offer a critical overview of the dynamics of media policy-making in selected MEDIADEM countries (Belgium, purchase Greece, Italy and Spain). The panel was chaired by Evangelia Psychogiopoulou, Research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

The panel involved the presentation of four papers authored by MEDIADEM researchers. The first presentation was that of Bart van Besien, Researcher at the Centre Perelman for Legal Philosophy of Université Libre de Bruxelles, entitled ‘Media policy for the written press in Belgium: Will governments, parliaments and courts be the ones to save the press?’ (paper co-authored with Pierre-François Docquir). Mr. van Besien discussed the ways in which the editors of the written press in Belgium are trying to cope with financial challenges due to the digitization of the media and the advent of the Internet, stressing, among others, the importance of litigation before domestic courts in this respect.  Anna Kandyla, Research assistant at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, presented a paper (co-authored with Evangelia Psychogiopoulou) ‘Audiovisual policy dynamics in Greece: Lessons from digital terrestrial television and the restructuring of public service media’. Ms Kandyla’s presentation provided a critical overview of the institutional dynamics and policy discourse concerning the digital switchover and the re-organisation of public service broadcasting in the country. The presentation of Dr. Federica Casarosa, Research assistant at the European University Institute, Department of Law, entitled ‘Media policy-making in Italy or when all good premises can be defied: The case of the Gasparri Law’, dealt with the principles guiding the reform process of competition and media ownership law in Italy. The final presentation was that of Juan Luis Manfredi Sánchez, Senior Lecturer at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, who talked about the ‘Remaining challenges for public service television in Spain: The misrule of the reform’. Dr. Manfredi Sánchez addressed the main challenges facing Spanish public service television: the consolidation of the legal framework ensuring the stability of the governance of the public broadcasting system; and the establishment of an appropriate funding model and remit.

The panel’s presentations were followed by lively discussion on the impact of politics on the formulation of media policy, and the policy strategies presently deployed in order to face the challenges stemming from technological developments and the Internet in the various countries under examination.

For more information on the papers presented you may contact their authors.

The MEDIADEM project and the University of Bielefeld, tablets
in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, cheap
organised a conference entitled ‘Interconnected subjects – Interconnected public. The Internet as a platform for a European societal consciousness’. The conference took place on 9-10 November 2012 at the premises of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin.

The aim of the event was twofold: first, to present the findings of the MEDIADEM project, focusing on those aspects of the German media policy that have a bearing on the development of free and independent media; and second, to engage in a wider discussion about the Internet as a democratic debating space. The conference, thus, embraced the interrelated and complex nature of daily affairs affecting our lives, the Internet as a communicative backbone, the participatory potential of the Internet in democratic decision-making processes and the question of whether the Internet can create a European understanding of societal developments.

On the first day, Prof. Barbara Thomaß (Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr University Bochum), in her key-note speech ‘Possibilities and limits of a European space for public discourse’, talked about the dynamics of a European public space from a media studies point of view. Starting with an overview of the national debate about how to achieve a European communications space, she then discussed media markets, language barriers, legal requirements and the practice of editorial offices. While the need to embrace a European public space is palpable, mass media structures have not lived up to this. The Internet has created a new discursive space, but it is unclear whether this space is used for societal and political debate.

The first panel focused on the MEDIADEM project.  Dr. Rachael Craufurd Smith, Dr. Pierre-François Docquir and Dr. Dilek Kurban presented the findings of the project’s empirical research in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Turkey respectively. The three speakers discussed, among others, whether the Internet has facilitated the development of a democratic public space around European issues. Overall, two streams of developments could be ascertained: the traditional stream and the evolving stream. First, the traditional media landscape and the domestic media culture very much shape the way that online communication takes place. The reserved attitude towards the EU that characterises the offline media in the UK is also reflected online, while in Turkey, state efforts to control the media are also evidenced in the online environment. In Belgium, offline media do not even provide for a national public space. Internet-based communication seems to challenge these structures. Issues, for instance, that arise in the social media are then reported on television or in the press. Communication between politicians and the public taking place on twitter influences political processes. Finally, blogs seek to provide analysis and debate around European issues.

The second panel on ‘Interconnected public and citizen participation’ featured presentations by Ute Pannen, spokesperson of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin, and Dr. Konstantin von Notz, member of the German Federal Parliament for the party Alliance 90/The Greens (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and member of the parliamentary commission on Internet and Society. They discussed the practical implications of Internet’s new communications pathways for politics and for citizens’ participation in decision-making processes.

The second day of the conference started with Prof. Jürgen Neyer (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt, Oder), who talked about decision- and law-making processes at the EU level. Prof. Neyer questioned the applicability of the model of representative democracy found at the national level to the EU. While the parliament plays a crucial role in national decision-making, decision-making within the EU is intergovernmental, with the Council of Ministers being at its core. The European Commission is then the main executive body. Internet-based communication has the potential to increase citizen’s interactivity with the EU institutions but, for the time being, such an influence is limited.

The last session of the conference was devoted to a discussion about European legislation and its contribution to the creation and regulation of a European space for public discourse. Prof. Dieter Dörr (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz) presented the main aspects of the EU’s legislative state of the art. He focused on the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and stressed that regulation is required for a healthy public space for democratic discourse. Prof. Hannes Tretter (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights, Vienna) focused on the standard-setting activities of the Council of Europe. He highlighted the approach of the Council of Europe on issues of media and democracy and referred to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

Overall, the conference provided an opportunity for lively debate and reflection. Over 80 media politicians, scholars, students, state representatives, academics, journalists, NGO representatives and legal practitioners contributed to the discussions held during the conference.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is going to publish a comprehensive report on the conference (in German) in due course.

The agenda of the conference is available in German and English.

See the flyer here (in German).

For more information you may contact Sebastian Müller.