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Assessing Media Pluralism in the Digital Age

Assessing Media Pluralism in the Digital Age

Iva Nenadic, Alina Ostling
Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy



Media pluralism cannot be measured without taking into account the developments in the digital sphere. However, with all the complexity and ongoing change of the digital environment, it is very challenging to select the main indicators and to apply the right method in assessing the level of media pluralism and freedom. To address the need to measure the extent of media pluralism in the digital environment, the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom - to which the two authors are affiliated - has developed over 200 indicators that are being tested through the Media Pluralism Monitor, a tool for assessing risks to media pluralism in the EU and beyond.

The workshop has the objectives to discuss:

·      The progress made so far regarding the development and testing of the Monitor indicators in the field of digital media pluralism in the 28 EU Member States and in two Candidate Countries (Montenegro and Turkey).

·      The opportunities and challenges of assessing the digital aspects of media pluralism in the future. The main aim of the workshop is to have the participants’ feedback about what issues should be measured and how to address media pluralism online.

We propose to focus the workshop sessions on the particularly complex aspects of digital transition. The sessions will (tentatively) discuss the challenges of assessing:

·      Ownership concentration, in particular that of Internet service providers (ISPs) and Internet content providers (ICPs).

·      The role of intermediaries (social media and news aggregators) in news consumption.

·      Applications of the net neutrality principle, both in terms of legal safeguards and practice.

We have also submitted a paper to the INSCI conference, discussing the progress made in testing the Monitor, as well as challenges for the measurement of media pluralism in the future. The paper can be used as a starting point for the discussions during the workshop.