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Media pluralism study highlights influence of the pandemic

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Published on Wednesday, 28 July 2021

The Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM2021), released by the European University Institute, highlights the influence the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the media landscape in European countries.

COVID-19 has not left the European media landscape unscathed, as researchers associate regulation or activities linked to the pandemic to adverse effects on freedom of information, working conditions for journalists, market plurality and state advertisement. This adds to already tense debates on media freedom, safety and diversity of media in several countries.

The annual MPM is a scientific data-driven effort to identify risks to media pluralism in Europe. The report covers European Union Member States, Albania, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. The Luxembourg country report was produced by Drs Raphaël Kies and Mohamed Hamdi. It highlights regulatory, legal and financial aspects influencing media diversity.

Risks to media pluralism are examined in four main thematic areas: Fundamental Protection (protection of the freedom of expression, the right to seek, receive and impart information and independent journalistic work), Market Plurality, Political Independence and Social Inclusiveness. The authors provide practical recommendations to authorities to remedy the weaknesses found.

  • While the Luxembourg media regulatory system scores well on fundamental protection overall, the protection of the right to information remains at medium risk, with the journalists’ representation requesting more and easier access to information.
  • The market plurality indicator remains overall on high risk, as the main online, broadcast and print media are still in the hands of a handful of media companies.
  • Luxembourg scores better than in previous years in the category of political independence, such as the independence of public service media (notably with a new regulation for the public radio broadcaster 100komma7).
  • Finally, much remains to be done in terms of social inclusion since access to media positions for minorities and for women remain at critical medium level. However, media literacy is due to improve, mainly due to initiatives in primary and secondary education, as well as campaigns and training on online security.

The full report and country reports, as well as the Luxembourg country report are accessible on the website of the European University Institute.