The Media Pluralism Report 2024 highlights alarming trends for journalists and editorial independence in Europe

In line with previous years’ findings, this year’s report confirms that no country in Europe is free from risks for media pluralism. While some countries perform satisfactorily in the legal protection of press freedom, overall trends show increasing commercial and political interference.

The tenth implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor, compiled annually by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom at the European University Institute, has been published today. 

The report, which evaluates the health of media ecosystems in Europe and candidate countries, sheds light on persisting contemporary issues facing journalism, pluralism of media and freedom of expression, often linked to the economic crisis of media and the unregulated digital sphere. Based on 20 indicators, summarising 200 variables, this holistic analysis covers four main areas: Fundamental Protection, Market Plurality, Political Independence, and Social Inclusiveness, with a focus on the specificities of the digital sphere in each area.

Complementing the general MPM report, country researchers have compiled 32 country reports focusing on the EU27 and candidate countries, which are also available in their respective national languages. 

Key highlights:

Journalists face harsh working conditions amidst diminished rights and intimidation

Poor working conditions for journalists, threats to safety, and the rise of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) remain significant problems demanding systematic solutions. In many assessed countries, journalists are commonly forced into self-employment or work as “external collaborators” for media outlets. This precarious status leaves them vulnerable, with limited access to unemployment benefits, paid leave, and the constant threat of ad hoc contract termination. These issues are particularly severe for local and regional media journalists.

Additionally, journalist arrests have occurred, notably in Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Surveillance through intrusive spyware has emerged as a critical concern; in this regard, the European Media Freedom Act provision on media service provider rights is anticipated to strengthen journalist protection by requiring Member States to safeguard confidential communications. Hate speech and attacks on digital channels, especially targeting women, are on the rise, often perpetrated by the very political elites who should protect journalists and their role as democracy’s watchdogs.

Legal protection to freedom of expression is present across Europe, but enforcement varies greatly

While legal provisions safeguard freedom of expression in all countries analysed, enforcement varies significantly, with some countries demonstrating poor implementation. Even in countries with a low risk score in the Fundamental Protection area, issues persist: such is, for instance, the case of France, where the risk score increased from 24% to 32% due to incidents of violence, surveillance, and arbitrary arrests targeting journalists and activists. Criminalisation of defamation also remains a major concern. 

In addition,content moderation in the digital sphere remains disquieting, with insufficient transparency from platforms regarding their practices. This issue is exacerbated in contexts of war, particularly in countries where blocks and removals related to Russian propaganda and information on the war in Ukraine are more common.

The economic landscape of European media shows persistent challenges and emerging vulnerabilities

The economic indicators analysed highlight significant challenges in European media, with high concentrations in media ownership, particularly in the digital realm encompassing both service providers and information intermediaries. Transparency issues in media ownership persist due to the absence of specific disclosure rules, though forthcoming provisions are expected to improve transparency through national ownership databases.

Media plurality faces threats from ongoing and increasing concentration trends, exacerbated by digital transformations that intensify competition for audience attention and advertising revenue. Digital markets exhibit the highest risk levels across 20 indicators, driven by pronounced revenue and audience concentration dominated notably by Google and Meta. Legal challenges further complicate matters, reflecting evolving regulatory environments and complex economic dynamics between platforms and content providers, including issues of remuneration and taxation.

Media viability remains a concern with medium-risk assessments, reflecting sustained market challenges exacerbated by economic strains, inflationary pressures, and geopolitical disruptions. While some sectors like audiovisual media show modest improvements, newspapers and local media remain particularly vulnerable to economic volatility and declining revenues.

Escalating threats to editorial independence in european media

Editorial independence in European media has reached a historic high-risk level. This shift reflects growing pressures from commercial interests, including media owners and advertisers, compromising the integrity of newsrooms and media workers. Many media entrepreneurs have vested interests outside the media, influencing coverage and relationships with politicians. The situation calls for stronger protections to safeguard journalistic integrity and ensure transparency regarding conflicts of interest, areas where current safeguards often fall short or lack effective enforcement.

Inequities in media representation and access

Gender equality remains a critical issue, scoring an average risk score of 64%, making it the fourth highest indicator in the report after three indicators in the market plurality area. Representation of women continues to be limited and stereotypical. Minority representation in media remains inadequate, especially in private commercial media, despite some positive steps in member states. Risk in the indicator for local, regional, and community media has notably increased due to the prevalence of news deserts in many countries and the lack of legal definitions for community media in half of the studied countries. Efforts against disinformation and hate speech are fragmented, with many countries lacking comprehensive long-term strategies.


The MPM2024 report highlights the ongoing challenges and offers a comprehensive set of recommendations to address these issues, aiming to reinforce media freedom and pluralism across Europe. The final report, as well as the country reports are available here.

The Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) is an independent project, co-funded by the European Commission, designed and implemented by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) based at the European University Institute in Florence.