Media Concentration in Western Europe David Ward Centre

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  Media Concentration in Western Europe David Ward Centre for Media Policy and Development Media Concentration in Western Europe David Ward Centre for Media Policy and Development

  Why Regulate Media Concentration?  • Normative • Basic right • Balance and pluralism Why Regulate Media Concentration? • Normative • Basic right • Balance and pluralism • Public sphere • Market issues • Legal certainty • Fair and open competition • Monopolies • Open access

  Relevant International Instruments • Charter of Fundamental Human Rights Art.  11. Art. 10 Relevant International Instruments • Charter of Fundamental Human Rights Art. 11. Art. 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Art 11 (2) Constitutional Treaty. EC Mergers regulation • Recommendations: – COE (99)1 media pluralism – European Parliament (Resolution 2004)

  COE Recommendation (99)1 • Stresses the importance of plural and autonomous media outlets • COE Recommendation (99)1 • Stresses the importance of plural and autonomous media outlets • Political and cultural pluralism • Need to have transparency • A framework for maintaining media diversity

  Internal and External Pluralism • Internal pluralism – Ensuring diversity of programming – Public Internal and External Pluralism • Internal pluralism – Ensuring diversity of programming – Public service • External pluralism – Ensuring diversity of operators – Guaranteeing open access to markets – Ensuring that citizen has access to broad range of sources

  How Countries Regulate for External Pluralism • Range of different national approaches • Different How Countries Regulate for External Pluralism • Range of different national approaches • Different media treated differently • Two main instruments – Competition policy (key today) – Thresholds (ceilings) • Both are reliant on a number of issues – Consistency – Clarity – Independence

  Model 1 • Italy • Financial (30) • National licences (20) • These above Model 1 • Italy • Financial (30%) • National licences (20%) • These above provisions being removed by the new Bill • France • Shareholders (capped at 49% of channel with above 2. 5% share) • National licences (1 max) • Thresholds for cross-media

  Model 2 • The Netherlands • No thresholds • Competition policy • Regulators would Model 2 • The Netherlands • No thresholds • Competition policy • Regulators would like to introduce thresholds • UK • Thresholds for cross-media (20% of newspaper market and ITV) • Competition policy • Public interest test for media has replaced all thresholds

  Public Interest Test • Triggered where the public interest might be threatened- includes all Public Interest Test • Triggered where the public interest might be threatened- includes all mass media at the discretion of the DTI and Ofcom • Based on – Sufficient number of operators – Services to end user – Range of standards set out in the 2003 Act

  Overview of Approaches (Sample) Country Press Television Radio Cross-media France Thresholds Competition Italy Thresholds Overview of Approaches (Sample) Country Press Television Radio Cross-media France Thresholds Competition Italy Thresholds Competition The Netherlands Competition (self regulatory) Competition UK Competition Thresholds

 Regional Newspaper Market Share of Top Five Groups 2002 (Includes Language Markets)  0102030405060708090100Others 5 Regional Newspaper Market Share of Top Five Groups 2002 (Includes Language Markets) 0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Others 5 th 4 th 3 rd 2 nd Leading group

  National Daily Newspaper Market Share 2002 (Includes Regional Titles That Have National Market) 0 National Daily Newspaper Market Share 2002 (Includes Regional Titles That Have National Market) 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% France. Germany. Italy. The Netherlands United Kingdom Others 5 th 4 th 3 rd 2 nd Leading group

  Television Audience Share of Public and Leading Commercial Television Companies 2002/2003 0 20 40 Television Audience Share of Public and Leading Commercial Television Companies 2002/2003 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Others Overseas broadcasters 3 rd most popular commercial broadcaster 2 nd most popular commercial broadcaster 1 st most popular commercial broadcaster PS

  What Does This All Mean? • These are all highly concentrated markets • Very What Does This All Mean? • These are all highly concentrated markets • Very prominent position for the public sector (leaders in nearly all markets) • Growing consolidation of companies in press and TV • External pluralism narrowing- therefore internal pluralism becoming even more important

  Internal Pluralism • Public broadcasters are becoming more important in terms of maintaining pluralism Internal Pluralism • Public broadcasters are becoming more important in terms of maintaining pluralism • Should provide a wide range of programming as part of their remits • Independent from commercial and state interests

  Common Features of Remits • Contribute to a democratic and plural society • Promote Common Features of Remits • Contribute to a democratic and plural society • Promote local culture • Provide high quality programming • Meet high journalistic standards • Non profit • Universal service

  Key issues • Need to provide pluralism for democratic and competition reasons- this is Key issues • Need to provide pluralism for democratic and competition reasons- this is a non negotiable • Pluralism best served by the member states with support of international instruments • Crucial to maintain a balance between the rights of citizens and stability of the sector

  Conclusions • Negative and positive regulation • Doesn’t always work- Italy • Must ensure Conclusions • Negative and positive regulation • Doesn’t always work- Italy • Must ensure that regulatory foundations are solid and independently applied-stability is key • Mistake to assume more channels means more diversity- not the case • Competition policy becoming more important- but ideally in combination with other mechanisms i. e. thresholds • Report available www. mediamonitor. nl




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