Pluralism of Media Types and Genres


According to the MPM2009, the risk domain Pluralism of media types and genres “refers to the co-existence of media with different mandates and sources of financing, notably commercial media, community or alternative media, and public service media, within and across media sectors, like print, television, radio and internet. Pluralism of media genres refers to diversity in the media in relation to media functions, including providing information, education, and entertainment”. This broad definition however, has been somewhat re-focused due to the overall focusing of the MPM on news and current affairs. This risk domain therefore has been reduced and reshaped significantly. The indicators that were selected to form part of the MPM2014 in this domain relate to the remedies that ensure that the markets effectively remain plural when it comes to the distribution of information of public interest, or the supply of public service media. The risks included in this domain are the Lack of/under-representation of/dominance of media types (T1) and the Lack of sufficient resources to support public service media (T2).

Indicator 18 on Regulatory safeguards for the distribution of public interest channels on cable, DSL and/or satellite platforms measures evaluates the risk Lack of/ under representation of/ dominance of media types (T1). In particular, the indicator analyses the existence of “must carry rules” that are imposed when they are necessary to achieve a defined public interest objective. In this regard, seven countries scored as being low risk, where two scored as high risk (Italy and Greece).

PSM is considered part of the tradition of the European Member States. A mixed media market, where private and public operators are present, is an asset for the circulation of different information and for a pluralistic market. It is considered a risk that there is a lack of sufficient resources to support PSM (T2). The MPM2014 measures this risk through indicator 19 on Regulatory safeguards for the objective and independent allocation of adequate, consistent and sufficient financial resources to PSMThis indicator is also structurally relevant in assessing the independence of PSM. Indeed, because of their mission, underfunded PSM could represent a threat to media pluralism.

The scores are four countries low, one medium, and four high (Italy, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria). The results of this indicator are interesting and need a second level of investigation in the light of the different genesis and the effective role of the different PSM in the different countries.