Europ Media

Media in Europe : an Introduction:

So in this first class, we will start the course by having an overview of what the current state of the informative media in Europe resembles, namely with regards to the danger of limited pluralism, the decline of the print media, the ever-growing importance of the economical capital over the intellectual capital. With examples stemming from different countries, we will see how new forms of informative media try to circumvent those issues. 
We will also discuss the issue of transparency of the media in the EU. Indeed, freedom of expression is a fundamental right in the Union. However, many countries lack the legal framework to allow such protection to be implemented to the fullest when it comes to their media outlets.

The European Union gathers 28 European countries, with the accession of Croatia in July of this year. All those countries have their own laws and national practices. But in some areas of legislation, the structure of the Union has prescedence over the national decisions. All member states speak differents languages and have specific ways of using their media. However, the Union garantees certains rights of protection which apply to all member states : 
« Audiovisual media (radio broadcasting, television and cinema) represent more than a million jobs in the European Union and constitute the primary source of information and entertainment for Europeans. The Community’s objectives in terms of audiovisual matters are European cultural diversity, the protection of minors, the promotion of media diversity, as well as increased European film production.
In this context, the Union encourages cooperation between Member Sates and supports their action on the basis of Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU). The "Audiovisual Media Services" (AMS) Directive and the Media Programme are the two cornerstones of Community audiovisual policy. » EU legislation 

The Media programme is aimed at more focused on helping filmmakers financially as well as to get them to think of means to increase their audience. Therefore, we will not focus on this piece of legislation but on the AMS directive.

This Directive aims to produce a framework for cross-border audiovisual media services in order to strengthen the internal programme production and distribution market and to guarantee conditions of fair competition.
Directive 2010/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2010 on the coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) (Text with EEA relevance).
This Directive establishes legal, regulatory and administrative provisions related to the provision and distribution of audiovisual media services.
Which media service providers * does the Directive apply to?
This Directive applies to media service providers when:
the head office of the provider and the editorial decisions taken about the audiovisual media services are located in the same Member State;
the head office and audiovisual media services are located in different Member States;
the service provider has its head office in a Member State, whereas decisions on the audiovisual media services are taken in a third country;
the service provider uses a satellite up-link situated in a Member State;
the service provider uses satellite capacity appertaining to a Member State.

To what extent does freedom of retransmission apply?
Member States shall not restrict retransmissions on their territory of audiovisual media services from other Member States, as long as the programmes broadcast are not of a violent or pornographic nature which could offend the sensibilities of minors.
They may also limit retransmissions if they believe public policy, health and security or consumer protection to be at risk.
What are the obligations of media service providers?
Media service providers shall make the following information available to consumers:
their name;
their geographical address;
their contact details;
the competent regulatory or supervisory bodies.
Protection of minors
In order to protect minors against the negative effects of pornographic or violent programmes, such programmes, when broadcast, must be preceded by an acoustic warning or identified by the presence of a visual symbol throughout the broadcast.
Incitement to hatred
Audiovisual media services may not contain any incitement to hatred based on race, sex, religion or nationality.
Accessibility of audiovisual media services
Providers are obliged to improve the accessibility of their services for people with a visual or hearing disability.
The right to information
Member States may take measures aimed at ensuring that certain events, which it considers are of major importance for society, cannot be broadcast exclusively in such a way as to deprive a substantial proportion of the public in that Member State. Each Member State may draw up a list of events and implementation procedures.
For the purpose of short news reports, any broadcaster established in a Member State has the right to access short extracts of events of high interest to the public which are broadcast on an exclusive basis.
Promotion of European and independent works
Broadcasters must devote at least 10% of their transmission time, or 10% of their programming budget, to European works created by producers who are independent of broadcasters, excluding time allocated to:
sports events;
teletext services;

With regard to on-demand audiovisual media services, Member States shall ensure that audiovisual media service providers promote the production of and access to European works. To this end, audiovisual service providers can contribute financially to the production of European works, or they can reserve a share and/or prominence for European works in their catalogue of programmes.
Audiovisual commercial communication
Media service providers provide audiovisual commercial communications *. These must comply with certain conditions:
they must be readily recognisable. Surreptitious (furtively) audiovisual commercial communication shall be prohibited → These activitiesinclude the presentation of the advertising; namely
sponsoring, surreptitious advertising, product placement, commercial breaks during programmes and the amount of advertising time.
they shall not use subliminal techniques → which means placing fleeting or hidden images in commercial content in the hopes that viewers will process them unconsciously 
Example of subliminal advertising : in this absolut vodka ad, the ice cubes look like normal icecubes. The viewer thinks what he is seeing is just a glass with icecubes. But he is being subjected to a double dose of advertising because the icecubes are not normal icecubes. When you look more closely, you see that inside the icecubes, there is an image of an absolut vodka bottle. 


they shall not prejudice respect for human dignity;
they shall not be discriminatory;

Example of Court Case

IRIS 2003-9:3/3
European Court of Human Rights
Case of Murphy v. Ireland

Dirk Voorhoof
Media Law Section of the Communication Sciences Department, Ghent University, Belgium
« In a judgment of 10 July 2003 the European Court of Human Rights unanimously held that the applicant's exclusion from broadcasting an advertisement announcing a religious event, was considered to be prescribed by law, had a legitimate goal and was necessary in a democratic society. The decision by the Irish Radio and Television Commission (IRTC) to stop the broadcast of the advertisement was taken in application of Section 10(3) of the Irish Radio and Television Act, which stipulates that no advertisement shall be broadcast which is directed towards any religious or political end (see IRIS 1998-1:6, IRIS 1998-7:9 and IRIS 2003-2:11). The Court accepted that the impugned provision sought to ensure respect for the religious doctrines and beliefs of others so that the aims of the prohibition were the protection of public order and safety together with the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Recognising that a wide margin of appreciation is available to the Member States when regulating freedom of expression in the sphere of religion, referring to the fact that religion has been a divisive issue and that religious advertising might be considered offensive and open to the interpretation of proselytism in Ireland, the Court was of the opinion that the prohibition on broadcasting the advertisement was not an irrelevant nor a disproportionate restriction on the applicant's freedom of expression. While there is not a clear consensus, nor a uniform conception of the legislative regulation of the broadcasting of religious advertising in Europe, reference was made to the existence in other countries of similar prohibitions on the broadcasting of religious advertising, as well as to Article 12 of Directive 89/552/EEC of 3 October 1989 (Television without Frontiers Directive) according to which television advertising shall not prejudice respect for human dignity nor be offensive to religious or political beliefs. The Court also emphasized that the prohibition concerned only the audio-visual media, which have a more immediate, invasive and powerful impact, including on the passive recipient, and also the fact that advertising time is purchased and that this would lean in favour of unbalanced usage by religious groups with larger resources and advertising. For the Court it is important that the applicant, a pastor attached to the Irish Faith Centre, a bible based Christian ministry in Dublin, remained free to advertise in any of the print media or to participate as any other citizen in programmes on religious matters and to have services of his church broadcast in the audio-visual media. The Court indeed accepts that a total ban on religious advertising on radio and television is a proportionate measure: even a limited freedom to advertise would benefit a dominant religion more than those religions with significantly less adherents and resources. This would jar with the objective of promoting neutrality in broadcasting, and in particular, of ensuring a "level playing field" for all religions in the medium considered to have the most powerful impact. The Court reached the conclusion that the interference with the applicant's freedom of expression did not violate Article 10 of the Convention. »
■    Judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (Third Section), Case of Murphy v. Ireland, Application no. 44179/98 of 10 July 2003     

they shall not encourage behaviour harmful to the environment;
they shall not contain messages relating to alcoholic beverages specifically aimed at minors;
they shall not promote tobacco products;
they shall restrict the promotion of medicinal products and medical treatments to those available on prescription only;
they shall not cause moral or physical detriment to minors.

Certain programmes or audiovisual media services may be sponsored *. In this case, they must meet other types of requirements:
they shall not affect the editorial independence of the media service provider;
they shall not directly encourage the purchase or rental of goods;
viewers shall be informed of the sponsorship agreement.

Product placement is authorised in certain circumstances and in certain types of programmes.
Television advertising and teleshopping
Television advertising and teleshopping shall be distinguishable from editorial content through optical, acoustic or spatial means.
The transmission of films made for television (excluding series, serials and documentaries), cinematographic works and news programmes may be interrupted by television advertising or teleshopping on the condition that the interruption only takes place once for each programme period of 30 minutes.
This Directive repeals Directive 89/552/EC.

Key terms of the Act       
Media service provider: the natural or legal person who has editorial responsibility for the choice of the audiovisual content of the audiovisual media service and determines the manner in which it is organised;
Audiovisual commercial communication: images with or without sound which are designed to promote, directly or indirectly, the goods, services or image of a natural or legal entity pursuing an economic activity;
Sponsorship: any contribution made by public or private undertakings or natural persons not engaged in providing audiovisual media services or in the production of audiovisual works, to the financing of audiovisual media services or programmes with a view to promoting their name, trade mark, image, activities or products;
Product placement: the inclusion of a product, a service or a trade mark in a programme in return for payment or for similar consideration.     

Therefore, we see that the freedom of expression/speech is protected by the legislation of the European Union as a fundamental right but when this freedom can only go so far that it does not cause any harm, prejudice or wrong to anyone. That is what the "Audiovisual Media Services" (AMS) Directive strives to ensure. Other bodies of legislation and directive give some guidelines as to the direction European Media should be encouraged to follow, such as the 
- “Television without Frontiers” Directive (TVwF Directive) and
- Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCP Directive)
Generally, here are the areas the Union is concerned about in terms of how the media should fonction and evolve :

Audiovisual Media Services (AMS) Directive
"Audiovisual media services without frontiers" DirectiveArchives
Television broadcasting activities: "Television without Frontiers" (TVWF) DirectiveArchives
 Revision process of the TVWF Directive
The future of European regulatory audiovisual policy
Provisions of the TWF directive on televised advertising (interpretative communication)

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013
MEDIA 2007: programme of support for the European audiovisual sector
MEDIA Plus (2001-2006): programme to encourage the development, distribution and promotion of European worksArchives
MEDIA-Training (2001-2006): training programme for professionals in the European audiovisual programme industryArchives
Media II (1996-2000): programme encouraging the development and distribution of European audiovisual worksArchives
Training programme for professionals in the audiovisual industry (MEDIA II Training) (1996-2000)Archives
Action programme to promote the development of the European audiovisual industry (Media) (1991-1995)Archives

Protecting children in the digital world
Protection of minors and human dignity in audiovisual and information services (2006 recommendation)
Protection of minors and human dignity (1998 Recommendation)Archives
Protection of minors and human dignity in audiovisual and information services: Green PaperArchives

Digital Agenda for Europe
Digitising cultural heritage online
European cinema: opportunities and challenges in the digital era
Media literacy in the digital environment
Towards a single market in creative content online
Media literacy in the digital ageArchives
Community policy on digital video broadcastingArchives
Principles and guidelines for the Community's audiovisual policy in the digital ageArchives
 Switchover to digital broadcasting
Strengthening the internal market for mobile TV
Legal framework for mobile TV
Switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting
Interoperability of digital interactive television services
 Interactive media
Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage
i2010: Digital libraries
Interactive media content in Europe
Protection of video game users

National aid to the film and audiovisual industries
State aid for public service broadcasting
State aid for public service broadcastingArchives

We have introduced the legal framwork in which European media evolve. Such a framework, while protecting certain rights and trying to lead the media in a fair-to-all direction, has to take into account the current situation and development of the media in the world as a whole but of course more specifically, in European media. 

With the internet and social media in particular, it is easy for everyone to post what they define as information. There are more and more sources of information and news because of the web, multiple blogs etcetera. Because of this explosion, people do not know what information they should considerate to be credible or which source of information they should trust. Consequently, brand power and credibility have become a real issue/concern. And some take advantage of that situation in which the lines of regulation are blurred to go overboard with their position on the market. 
There is also a risk that because digitalisation causes confusion, some companies use that confusion to expand their influence in the media sphere and stifle smaller competitors. 

« In particular, there is a perceived risk that progressively fewer companies will control or strongly infl uence what online audiences are exposed to. Parties such as Google and Apple and, increasingly, social networks such as Facebook play an important and contentious role as mediators that guide audiences to particular content. » Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism
New forms of concentration do not mean that the concentration of traditional powerful media in traidtional markets is losing its importance. The big and reknown media groups still remain the primary sources of news and information online in most European Union countries, while television still holds the first place in media consumption of the member states. For now, digitalisation has not produced any significant changes in the consolidation of broacasting ownership. 

In a number of European countries, we noticed a strong concentration of media ownership. In the UK for instance, « more than half the daily circulation of national newspapers is now in the hands of three owners ». The same scenario can be outlined for French-speaking Belgium and a part of France. The Rossel Media Group is so powerful that it owns more than half the local papers in teh country, and ALL the non-government channels in the French-speaking part of the country. That means that when you watch French-speaking Belgian TV channels, you either watch a government channel or a channel of that group (my channel was including). The same can be said for print media, even though it is a bit better since the market is shared by two competing groups : Rossel & Cie, Groupe Sudpresse, Groupe VLAN, Groupe La Voix du Nord, Mediafin, Net Events Media, TVi SA, Radio H 

Alongside such concentration, the political and media elites have grown closer together. Those stronger ties could become a danger to the very principles of European democracies. 

Example of polls → Frédéric Delfosse, famous Tv reporter and socialist, comes to my desk and says : « I just received a text from the Prime minister. We made a mistake in one of our web articles. It says that the Socialist party's popularity has dropped by a couple of percent when in fact, it has increased by such percentage. » He made me rectify the mistake immediately. The article had been put online for a couple of minutes. The fact that he is on such buddy-buddy terms with the Prime minister is not necessarily perceived as a bad thing by the news room workers. Indeed, maintaining such contacts (and in fact even trying to broaden that circle of contacts) is something that any boss encourages, because it allows the journalists to be given access to information before the others, which is beneficial for the news outlet. However, do you believe it is a good thing to be on such friendly terms with the Prime minister that he monitors every piece of information regarding him or his political actions ? Do you think it could represent some danger to a democracy ? 

« In some countries, such as the UK, it has been manifest in excessive personal contact and meetings between media proprietors and government ministers, both informally and formally. » Not even just media proprietors but also journalists. Example of the news anchor of the French-speaking Belgian government channel → François De Brigode who says 'tu' to the Prime minister on national TV while conducting a live interview. 
Do you know any examples of such happenings in Pakistani media ? Can you relate such happenings and situations to pakistani media ? Do you think such closeness is also part of the Pakistani media ? 

« The effects of this have been a further erosion of journalist autonomy, already compromised by austere economic conditions and growing pressure to deliver news in greater quantities within ever narrower timeframes. A recent survey of journalists in Poland revealed a close association between pressure emanating from politicians, media owners and advertisers fostering a collapse in ethical standards. »

Case of RTL Luc Trullemans : In the group for years, posted something on his personal facebook account – racial comments because of an incident in which he was the victim – got suspended – however, did not apologize and RTL fired him because of social but also, indirectly, political pressures. The group did not want to be associated with such image. 

Transparency is however overall becoming less and less of in issue for most countries in Europe. However, two years ago, Hungary tried to pass a new media censorship law, which caused an outrage all over the Union. 

Another issue raised by the trend of digitalisation has been that it has disrupted the business of news. It has contributed to the drop in newspaper sales and advertising revenue. In some cases, that lead to important closures. Another effect has been that the structure of the print news market has changed. The economic difficulties of the newspaper market already existed due to the 2008 financial crisis and have worsen due to the emergence of the web. All of this has created a new need : the urge to find new ways to pay for news. 

So far, there have been several ways of trying to deal with the issue : 

« Media groups have adopted different priorities in terms of product differentiation and diversification. Some conceive of end-users as the best hope for revenue generation in the future—through subscriptions fees, paywalls or crowd funding mechanisms. » Example : L'Echo (free for suscribers)
« Others are trying to find new ways of partnering with advertisers, including advertorials (publireportages) and free sheets (feuilles libres/pages blanches?). 
- An advertorial is « an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine that's designed to look like an article by the writersof the magazine » (Cambridge dictionary) 
- A freesheet is « a free newspaper that gives local news and information, and in which local businesses can advertise » (Cambridge dionary)

Generally, while some focus on new platforms, others try everything to improve margins in conventional media. Finally, some desperately try to make their audience pay for their exploitation of the news content. 

However, none of those attempts has so far succeeded in ensuring the sustainability of professional journalism in the European Union. As a result, the intellectual capital (editorial side of the news company) is endangered by the economical capital (business side of the news entreprise). 

« An example is the local Dutch news platform which openly produces editorial content paid for by businesses and local authorities. It is justifi ed on the basis that the consumer is made aware of the practice, but others consider it a dangerous precedent which threatens the autonomy of journalists. »

But what could be the most dramatic consequence of all is the loss in human capital : most majors news brand are managing their restructuring bu cutting costs and rationalising their ressources. Employees get fired, money spent in wages is being scarcely amounted. Marketing budgets are also being slashed. 

RTL example : my personal situation as an employee – the evergrowing relevance of advertisements (BGT, website, counting the views...)

« Elsewhere, broadcasters have increased the number of repeat and imported programs in their schedules; whilst publishers have reduced page numbers and circulation volumes, closed some titles and reduced the publication frequency of others. » Example : if BGT does not work, a lot of money lost. Do not try too much because too risky to lose a lot. 

There is also less and less investment in investigative journalism, since it is highly time-consuming for a result that takes a lot of effort. Therefore, employers tend to focus more on objectivity than investigation. However, digitalisation has improved some of the tools of investigative journalism :
experts, alternatives sources have an easier outlet to voice their opinions
the information stemming from institutions and public bodies are « more readily available »
there are now new innovative methods of information gathering (wikis, social networks, crowdsourcing - « obtaining information or input on a particular task or project by enlisting the services of a number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the internet » (Oxford dictionary)) Example : pressformore

But even with the help of crowdsourcing and software, because of the overload of information, it has become not only time-consuming but also costly to manage. The market puts pressure on independent journalism, particularly when it comes to 'time'. In Germany, for example, « journalists had on average of 23 minutes a day less to devote to original newsgathering in 2005 compared to 1993. By 2008, the average journalist spent just 11 minutes a day on sourcing and fact-checking. »
Example : RTL – most of our work is not fact checking but simply copy-pasting of press agencies press releases. We simply cut the text to put some title in, but that is it. 

What we see more and more in European media are online platforms – in particular, the blogosphere. Those are personality-driven (example of Le Monde, Le Soir – blog of a journalist of Africa)) but also opinion-led or even celebrity-focussed (Perez Hilton's blogs). And investigative journalism work, when it does get published, then only reach a certain portion of the news audience, namely a small elite. But often, the work of investigative journalism simply gets lost « in the volume of information noise associated with digital platforms ».

Investigative journalism : threats – surveillance increased – still traditional problems

« In some quarters, what’s left of investigative journalism has become a tool in the fight between politicallyaligned news outlets, and the growing emphasis on sensational content has compromised substantive analysis. This situation is exacerbated by the highly competitive media environment which often forces investigative journalists to publish their stories incomplete for fear they will be ‘scooped’ by rivals. Perhaps in view of such pressures, traditional investigative journalism remains largely the preserve of dominant news organisations and, in particular, public service broadcasters. But even here there is a widely observed decline both in terms of the quantity and quality of output. In broadcasting, this has often meant shorter time-slots and later scheduling for current affairs programs. It has also fostered a trend in favour of celebrityfronted stories about, e.g., consumer rights issues at the expense of hard journalism confronting the complex abuses of state-corporate power.

« But there is an emerging ‘third sector' of journalism that exploits hybrid models of foundation funding, crosssubsidies and commissions. Many of these initiatives also adopt a multimedia approach involving both selfpublishing online and producing exclusive content for newspapers or broadcasters. 

• In the UK, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been operating along such lines since 2010. 
Established with a £2 million grant from the Potter Foundation, the agency has secured over 34 frontpage stories and produced award-winning web, radio and TV reports. « The Bureau is a not-for-profit research organisation. It pursues in depth journalism which is of public benefit. All research and stories are freely available under a Creative Commons licence. » Follow them on Facebook by liking their page.

The Potter foundation « seeks to achieve an impact through grants that promote reason, education, and human rights, in the hope of improving mutual understanding, reinforcing good governance, and encouraging the growth and maintenance of a robust civil society, particularly in less developed countries. » 

• In Italy, Chiarelettere specializes in major investigations which are published in book format. It was founded in 2007 as a multimedia publisher, independent of political and business interests. Readers can meet the journalists on its website, and there are a number of related blogs by both journalists and readers. There is an annual Investigative Journalism Festival, now in its third year. ( )

Chiarelettere was founded in May 2007 as an  independent multimedia publisher  (books, DVDs, blogs) with the intent to  create a space for information and in-depth free , away from the influence of political parties, associations, economic, and religious groups. For this reason, from the beginning, he had the support of many authors working independently and who have identified in the draft Chiarelettere: whether judges, journalists, teachers, cartoonists, reporters, musicians.   publishing house publishes approximately twenty-five books a year exclusively non-fiction, in particular investigations, testimonies, sometimes interviews, pamphlets  on topics relating to  civil society  andcurrent events  such as justice, freedom of information, the world of business, finance and the economy , urban planning and the environment, always considered by the people and not from the perspective of someone who represents and manages power. Do not miss  raids in the recent past to clarify episodes of our history  , giving the floor to new witnesses and publishing unpublished documents such as the Moro murder ("He must die" by F. Imposimato and S. Provvisonato), Pasolini's murder, Mattei and De Mauro ("Deep Black" by G. Lo Bianco and S. Rizza), the IOR and the Vatican ("Vatican Spa" by G. Nuzzi), the 'Ndrangheta ("Metastasis" by G. Nuzzi with C. Antonelli ). Being free to touch topics that maybe newspapers or other publishers have difficulty dealing, Chiarelettere could denounce the collapse of the Italian railways ("After Hours" by C. Gatti), the scandal of pedophile priests ("Journey into Silence" V . Gaito), deaths at work ("In the land of Moratti" by G. Meletti), the financial scandals ("predatory capitalism" by P. Biondani, M. Thornton and V. Malagutti, "The wages of Masters" Meletti G. and G. Dragoni, "The vice" by L. Napoleoni), the scandals of Berlusconi ("Papi" and "Gag" by P. Gomez, M. and M. Lillo Labor; "Ad personam" by M. Labor, "The Gift of Berlusconi" by P. Gomez and A. Mascali; "Soulless" by M. Fini, "After him, the deluge" of O. Beha), the university ("The land barons" D. Carlucci and A. Castaldo), the underwater world of religious fundamentalism ("Inside Opus Dei" by E. Provera, "The lobby of God" by F. Pinotti), intelligence ("The Republic of blackmail "by S. Orlando," The Ring of the Republic "by S. Limits," North by Northwest "by G. Fasanella and R. Prior," 1994, "by L. Grimaldi and L. Scalettari) and speculation (" The party of the concrete "by M. and F. Preve Sansa," The Casting "by F. Sansa, A. Garibaldi, A. Massari, M. Preve, G. Salvaggiulo), the world of minorities (" Do not call me gypsy " P. Petruzzelli, "The Chinese never die" by R. Oriani and R. Stagliano, "Thank you" by R. Stagliano, "Controcanto" by M. Revelli).
Many different books on the Mafia and criminal systems, from "The Pact" by N. Blonde and S. Ranucci to "The red diary of Paolo Borsellino", "Deep black" and "black agenda" by G. Lo Bianco and S. Rizza, not to mention many other examples including "The Return of the Prince" by R. Scarpinato and S. Praised, "I am the market" by L. Rastello. The crux of the judiciary and of relations with the returns policy in investigations and pamphlets like those of Tinti, "Togas routes" and "The question immoral", "Assault on the Pm" of L. de Magistris, "dirty hands" by G. Barbacetto, P. Gomez and M. Labor. Change, innovate in this country is difficult, but attempts there as evidenced by the success of "Enough" and "Full speed ahead" of S. Perotti, or the stories collected in "Our excellence" by M. Cirrus clouds and F.Solibello, "Italy in Presadiretta" by R. Iacona, "Fight civil" by A. Mascali, "Young and beautiful" by C.Vecchio. Among the authors of Chiarelettere is also A. Camilleri who signed two books of essays with S. Praised, "An Italian Winter" and "Of our head." In addition to books, the publishing house has also produced DVD of P. Rich, "Raise your head", G. Fasanella and G. Pannone, "The sun of the future", R.Cremona and V. de Cecco, "Miss Little China", M. Belpoliti and D. Ferrario, "Primo Levi's Journey", G.Fornoni, "At World's End."
Gaber and De André also fit perfectly with their poetry and their unconventionality in the catalog of the publisher: to remember the photo books "evaporated in a cloud rock" by G. Harari and F. Di Ciocco, "Tourbook" by the Fondazione De André and E. Valdini and "Gaber. The illogical utopia "by G. Harari in collaboration with the Fondazione Giorgio Gaber.
Large were  the recognition abroad of the activity of Chiarelettere  with articles published in "Le Monde", "Financial Times", "LivresHebdo." From the beginning the presence of Chiarelettere on the web has been strong and has contributed to the success of the brand. The blog I want to get off of Corrias, Gomez and Travaglio was followed by tens of thousands of readers a day. Now the blog has been replaced by Cado standing, a new social network, an  organ of information and analysis open to the free contribution of all the authors of the publishing house and who wants to work . Only requirement: competence. Also the site of Chiarelettere has been completely revamped and relaunched. In 2009 Chiarelettere entered a shareholder of the newspaper "the daily."
As specified on each book, the property of Chiarelettere consists of: Group Gems, Lorenzo Fazio (Editorial Director), Guido Roberto Vitale, Sandro Porec. 

• In 2001, journalists and editors in Germany founded the Network Research (Netzwerk Recherche) to foster investigative journalism. Its activities include publications, courses and training, as well as conferences and political lobbying. ( ) « Whenever publishers and TV or radio stations hinder thorough research, or fail to provide money for it, wherever flows of information are blocked or journalists attacked for correct but critical work, this is where colleagues from Netzwerk Recherche step in. »


Similar entities are at embryonic stages elsewhere, including Latvia and the Netherlands. But they are still very marginal players and their long-term viability hangs in the balance. A secure funding base remains the elusive prize, and the EU has a potential role to play in assisting this emergent sector. Support for low-cost start-ups at local and regional levels might be especially pertinent given the rate of local newspaper closures, cutbacks and extent of political clientelism in these markets. » 

PressForMore Example

When it comes to transparency : 

« Those countries where authorities are broadly recognised as impartial tend to have explicit licensing criteria enshrined in statute law, as well as a clear separation of powers, limiting the degree to which governments can intervene in regulatory decisions. An important factor underpinning reputations for transparency is the extent to which authorities hold regular, timely and relevant public consultation on key decisions, particularly those which are politicised and subject to strong lobbying efforts. 
In contrast, countries which lack such protections tend to have opaque procedures associated with backroom deals between licensing authorities on one hand and multiplex operators and broadcasters on the other. This has led to accusations of political clientelism, expediency or ideological bias in spectrum allocation. The problem is particularly acute at the local and regional levels where a ‘democratic deficit’ has been identified in some countries with devolved procedures for digital licensing. »

However, lobbies are often somehow allowed to have too much influence. Furthermore, in several states, media and communications regulation converge. Thirdly, in many countries, the government interferes and influences regulatory independence. 

In Spain, for example, a nationwide regulatory authority still exists. Some also exist at a regional level and some of them are perceived as being extremely vulnerable to political pressure. Simultaneously, the ministers control broadcast licensing and media content at a national level. 

In Hungary, the government has tried to further assert his power whith regards to direct or indirect media control in the last couple of years, by appointing a regulatory body that is responsible for examining broadcast licensing. 

In Romania, in 2006, a similar scenario occured where the government changed the appointed regulatiry body twice in a year until in 2010 the European Union as a whole prompted them to transfer control over the appointment of the body from the government to the parliament (Parliament : members directly elected by the population, more representative than the government). 

In Poland, attempting to depoliticise the procedures of election and appointment authorities and public broadcasters has not been as successful. An attempt by the civil society has been rejected by the government. Another attempt, this time it was a draft stemming from a council on national broadcasting on reforming the financing of public media and elections of their officials, was rejected by the Ministry of Culture, without much ground. 

In Italy, media regulation is even more politicised. The Communications Regulatory Authority suffers from strong governmental pressures as well as pressures from major political parties. « An episode 
in 2010 serves as a case in point and led to the resignation of Giancarlo Innocenzi Botti, one of its board members. Mr Botti was previously an executive for Fininvest—the company owned by then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the parent company of Italy’s dominant commercial media conglomerate. Published wiretaps revealed frequent telephone calls from Berlusconi to his former employee, urging him to intervene and halt a current affairs program produced by the public broadcaster, RAI. A judicial inquiry is underway to determine, among other things, whether Berlusconi was guilty of duress or threat to a political, administrative or judicial body. Despite this, parliament appointed another former Fininvest executive and former Berlusconi MP as Botti’s successor. »

Further transparency issues :

« In only 9 out of 19 countries (including only 4 of the EU member states) can the public fi nd out who the actual owners of the broadcast media are, from information reported to media regulators or to company registers.

Disclosure to media regulators of benefi cial owners of media outlets is not currently required in most of the countries.

There is no unifi ed or standard approach to collecting or requiring disclosure to the public of media 
ownership data, particularly with regard to print and online media.

There is a need for clear international standards on transparency of media ownership and on the legal framework required to achieve it. There is currently no clear standard, despite the recognition that transparency is important. Such recommendations as do exist are non-binding and have proved ineffective. » (Media Freedom and Pluralism)

Recommendation :

 « - Broadcast, print and online media should be required to submit to a national media authority suffi cient ownership information to allow identification of the benefi cial and ultimate owners of media outlets. 
 - National media authorities should collect and make public sufficient information to identify the beneficial and ultimate owners of media outlets. 
 - National company registers should collect information on the beneficial and ultimate owners of all companies and make public the contents of the register.
 - All information submitted to national media authorities and company registers should be available in open electronic format, at no cost to the public.
The EU should explore a system by which data collected at the national level is compiled and made available to other government regulators and the public, for example through an expansion of the MAVISE database. »

Let us just now conclude with a press release from the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda in 2012.

Neelie Kroes
Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda
Safeguarding Media Pluralism in the EU
"United in Diversity" Pan-European Forum on Media Pluralism & New Media, European Parliament
Brussels, 27 June 2012

As we stand in the Parliament, Europe's democratic chamber, it's a good time to remember what it is to be European. And to reflect on what Europe does best.
Many see Europe as an economic union, a single market to boost trade.
But for me it's more than that: it's a place where we come together and deliver for our citizens.
And that's about more than economic growth.
Here in Europe we're an organised "melting pot". We have many cultures and histories: and we have for each others' cultures awareness, curiosity, and respect.
That is how we find unity in diversity: that is something to be proud of.
Delivering for our citizens also means safeguarding freedom.
Including the freedom of speech: the right to express yourself, to dissent, and to hold the powerful to account.
Outside Europe, not far from our doorstep even, we can see what it means to lose that tolerance and respect, or to be deprived of those rights.
We rightly condemn when those freedoms are curtailed or quashed, from bloggers arrested in Syria, to journalists imprisoned in Azerbaijan.
But, on the international stage, we can do more than just make strongly-worded statements.
We should not just say: but show. We should show to the rest of the world what vibrant society prospers under these positive principles: liberty, tolerance, democracy.
Then we can not just offer those gifts to our own people: but we can light a beacon of hope to all oppressed peoples; and be the world's wellspring of freedom.
That needs a strong media sector. It is a free media, with professional and quality journalists, who often best inform electorates, challenge authority, and broadcast minority voices.
Thus a free media exercises a fundamental right — aids our mutual cultural understanding – and improves how people are governed.
Those principles offer an opportunity for our future.
And they are worth fighting for.
When they are threatened within the EU's own borders – as they have been in Hungary – we should indeed protect and defend them.
There are two points I'd like to make today.
The first point is that a strong media sector exists within an economy, and must take account of economic realities. As for so many things, pluralism cannot be guaranteed in isolation, but flourishes or withers according to the environment.
As with so many sectors, the Internet is radically changing that environment. Transforming the economics, transforming value chains, transforming the role of everyone from journalist to paperboy.
This digital revolution creates great opportunities for pluralism: but also some risks. On the one hand, it opens up a platform for every blogger, every Internet user, every citizen, to make their voice heard.
On the other, it may make it harder to invest in long-term, investigative journalism — as consumers increasingly expect immediate content and access at low cost, or none at all.
One thing is certain: we need to adapt. Carrying on and hoping digital realities go away is no solution. Such an approach would close down new online opportunities; it would damage the sector's competitiveness; and, yes, it would ultimately damage media pluralism.
Today I received the first part of the report of the Media Futures Forum chaired by Christian van Thillo. That Forum includes those from across the sector value chain. And their report is thorough and welcome.
In spite of different perspectives, they recognise very clearly that — in a digital age — the media sector needs to change, or lose out. I'll be studying it very closely: I hope others will too.
But already I can tell you I'm convinced about many of the solutions they propose.
Yes, we need more innovation; yes, we need more fast broadband.
And yes, we need the rules and mentality to try out new business models; models with the scale needed for pan-European success.
Because, in a tough global market, these technologies can give a much-needed boost to the media sector. And in fact to almost every other sector, too.
To get that boost, we need the right laws, we need the right technology, and we need the right mindsets and business models.
For example, look at e-books: still today I can't transfer my own e-books from one device to another; still today it's hard to buy an e-book from another EU country. And there are yet greater issues in the audiovisual world.
Yesterday we got together those active in the ebook market, and they agreed on a common declaration on these issues. This is a great result –and one example of the kind of change to mentality we need.
Like I say, one cannot ignore the economics when considering media pluralism. But in some cases, a free media faces challenges that go well beyond economics. And those situations can pose more explicit threats to liberty and democracy. I have already referred to the case of Hungary.
So that leads to my second question. It's well to talk of the importance of freedom and pluralism: but how, in detail, should we safeguard them?
Looking beyond the economics – what policy tools, what legal powers, what moral rights and responsibilities do we need?
And that is indeed complex.
Some say that governments should keep their hands off the media, full stop.
I have some sympathy. But in some cases, positive government action can aid media pluralism. For example, sometimes governments can ensure that ownership is not too concentrated, through competition policy.
And sometimes, indeed, I find that people do expect public authorities to act. Indeed recent threats to media freedom showed up a very strong general expectation that the Commission can act. But, as it stands, the legal framework won't let us meet that expectation. One or other needs to adjust.
This is a key question. I want to resolve it.
Currently the EU does not have the legal competence to act in this area as part of its normal business. In practice, our role involves naming and shaming countries ad hoc, as issues arise.
Year after year I return to this Parliament to deal with a different, often serious, case, in a different Member State. I am quite willing to continue to exercise that political pressure on Member States that risk violating our common values. But there's merit in a more principled way forward.
On the other hand, I don't want to rush to regulation. In some cases regulation can support freedom. But if our aim is to separate the media from governments or parliaments, then the risk is that regulation does exactly the opposite.
In recent cases, NGOs, journalists and Members of Parliament complained that we did not have sufficient power or that we did not intervene enough in this area. Well, they would be the first to complain if we ended up with too much power, or intervened too much. And rightly so.
So I have asked for advice. The report by the Media Futures Forum is the first step.(We will see it in another lecture)
I am also looking forward to the advice of the High-Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism, led by Vaire Vike-Freiberga. To the ongoing work of Centre for Media Pluralism and Freedom in Florence. And, of course, to the debate on media freedom standards in this Parliament.
But they alone won't solve the problem. More generally I want a principled debate. I want all those involved – Member States, the European Parliament, NGOs, journalists and others – to contribute frankly about these issues.
Today's conference is an important step to start this debate.
Does more need to be done to safeguard media freedom and pluralism? Who should do it? And what are the best tools to use?
Some believe that the media market in Europe is too local, too fragmented, for the EU to have a role.
Others believe that, as the EU is grounded in common values like freedom of speech, it should also protect those values. If this latter is the conclusion of our debate, I'm ready to play my part.
But in any case I want to decide a way forward before the end of my mandate.
The issue of how to safeguard media freedom and pluralism is complex: it will involve reflection and hard choices: and it's too important to treat simplistically.
But to those who say it's too complex, too risky, too much of a headache to even think about, I could not disagree more. This is about democracy, it is about freedom, it is about Europe.
No cost is too high to secure those aims. No level of commitment too extravagant to ensure the beacon of a free and prosperous European media: one that continues to shine in the twenty-first century.


read pp. 2-6 of 'Transparency of Media Ownership in Europe'
read one Economist article and analyse for debate → communicational skills
read one article of an English paper

Further reading : Audiovisual Media Services and the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, Jan Kabel, 2008, European Audiovisual Observatory

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