The Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) is designed to identify potential risks to media pluralism in Member States.

The Media Pluralism Monitor

The Monitor assesses the risks for media pluralism based on a set of twenty indicators covering four different areas: Basic Protection, Market Plurality, Political Independence and Social Inclusiveness. The indicators cover legal, economic and socio-political questions.

  • All types of media are covered: public service, commercial and community media. Moreover, the monitor recognises that different policies and regulatory approaches may apply to different types of media (e.g. broadcasting, print and new media) and such distinctions are reflected in the indicators;
  • It is diagnostic tool designed to obtain a broad understanding of the risks to media pluralism in a Member State, but does not establish the problems nor the policy responses.
  • The assessment is carried out in a transparent manner in consultation with stakeholders.

The MPM is based on a European Commission funded study published in 2009. The European Union is now funding projects to simplify and test the tool so that it can be realistically applied by Member States.

Media Pluralism Monitor simplification and test - phase 1

  • The European Parliament decided in 2013 to earmark a budget of EUR 500,000 for the simplification and pilot implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor;
  • The European Commission awarded subsequently a grant to the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute for the implementation of the Pilot Project;
  • The action that pushed for the implementation of the Media Pluralism Monitor also follows one of the recommendations made by the High-Level Group on Media Freedom and Pluralism, as well as the invitation made by the Council conclusions of 26 November 2013;
  • The first year of this action was split into two streams, one focusing on simplification, one on testing of 9 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the UK);
  • The CMPF selected the sample on the basis of:
    • typology of media and political systems;
    • geographical criteria;
    • Media market size (including population and territory);
    • existing political assessments of the level of media freedom and pluralism.
  • The final report of the first phase was published in January 2015.

Media Pluralism Monitor simplification and test – phase 2

  • In 2014, the European Parliament decided to earmark another budget of EUR 500,000 for the continuation of the testing in a complementary manner to the previous one.
  • During this second phase of the project, starting from November 2014, the CMPF assessed the viability and relevance of the indicators. It tested them in the 19 EU countries that were not covered during the 1st pilot phase (Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden).
  • The results are available. See the announcement.

Media Pluralism Monitor – phase 3

For 2016, a grant of EUR 500,000 has been awarded – in the context of a preparatory action supported by the European Parliament – to continue the assessment of risks to media pluralism. During this third phase, also performed by the CMPF, the project's researchers assessed risks in all EU Member States, as well as in two candidate countries: Turkey and Montenegro. The results of this round are available here.

Media Pluralism Monitor – phase 4

In 2017, the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute is implementing the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) across all EU Member states, as well as in Serbia and FYROM (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). To this effect, a budget of EUR 350,000 has been awarded for a preparatory action supported by the European Parliament. The results of the 2017 exercise are available here.

The original study

The Media Pluralism Monitor stems from a initial study, published in 2009, carried out by a group of three academic institutes: ICRI (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), CMCS (Central European University), and MMTC (Jönköping International Business School), with a Ernst & Young Belgium. The study developed a monitoring tool for assessing risks for media pluralism in the EU Member States and identifying threats to such pluralism based on a set of indicators.

The outputs were the following:

  • The Final Report describes the approach and method used to design indicators and their integration into a risk-based framework. It contains no policy recommendation as such.
  • The User Guide: explains how the Monitor can be applied in practice (how to install the MPM software, how to calculate indicator scores, how to interpret the resulting risk profiles, etc.).
  • The Media Pluralism Monitor: an Excel file containing the indicators embedded in a risk-based scoring system.