CONCENTRATION OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP AND ITS IMPACT ON MEDIA BUSINESS IN SOUTH EASTERN EUROPEJournal: Journal Association 1901 SEPIKE (Vol.1, No. 13)
Publication Date: 2016-06-30
Authors : Ina Nikolova;
Page : 104-109
Keywords : freedom of speech; media concentration and pluralism; media ownership; political and economic control;
The importance of transparency, freedom and diversity in Europe's media landscape is a matter, which concerns each European country. Some of them such as Finland, Denmark, Sweden or Austria succeed in applying effective regulation mechanisms in order to keep an independent and democratic communication environment. But the situation is not the same in South East European states, where the electronic and print media suffer from economic and political control. The significance of the problem is analyzed by a lot of social researches such as IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board), OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, "Reporters Without Borders", "Freedom House" and others. All of them reveal the defects in the media environment such as impaired freedom of speech, lack of transparency of ownership, and upset balance of media environment. Although press freedom is constitutionally guaranteed in South East Europe (SEE), this research presents facts proving that the concentration of media ownership is increasing and that corporate alliances between communications firms have become a norm. It also should be noted that there are no Europe-wide media ownership rules and each Member State has treated the issue separately, mostly with a deregulatory trend. Nominal owners are mostly just front men, while the real owners hide behind off-shore companies abroad. As long as this lack of transparency in media ownership continues to exist, then it will not be possible to effectively stop the trend towards media concentration. In sum, there are only a few dominant players who are in a position to influence both the market and public opinion7. Consequently, advertising market is dominated by big advertisers directly connected to concentrated owners of media business. In this way, without setting any legislative restrictions on the ownership, is created a situation of inequality in media and advertising business. The object of the scientific article is the convulsions of media business caused by economic and political influence. The subject is the political and economic control in the electronic and print media in SEE. The purpose of the inquiring research is to be created a new media model.
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