The European media landscape is changing profoundly. In this wide-ranging and timely text, members of the Euromedia Research Group examine the ways in which national and supranational policy is reacting to these changes. The contributors consider: the consequences for broadcasting systems of satellite and cable delivery; the fate of public broadcasting under deregulation; the changes currently affecting print media and newspapers; the impact of media changes for political and social cultural life; and the significance of the Internet, the first true fruit of the telematic revolution in communication.

Media Concentration and the Public Interest

Media concentration and the public interest
Werner A.Meier and JosefTrappel

An Old Problem with New Dimensions

Why study the impact of media concentration? Media diversity is one of the main preconditions ensuring political and cultural pluralism and effective citizen participation in democratic decision-making processes. Media diversity and media pluralism are prerequisites for effective freedom of expression and information as laid down by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Committee of Experts, 1997: 3). The potential risks to diversity of ideas, tastes and opinions caused by media concentration is certainly an old problem but with new dimensions and severe effects on society.

However, according to Bagdikian (1990: 4—5), some dominant media corporations exercise a disproportionate power in the public sphere:

Market dominant ...

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