OSI Report on TV in Europe: More Channels, Less Independence




The Open Society Institute announces the publication of a major new monitoring report on television in Europe. With an Overview chapter defining the main trends across the region, as well as recommendations addressing policymakers, media and activists, the report seeks to bring about change where it is needed.


The report confirms that television, which should be a pillar of democracy and open societies, is changing at breakneck speed. Patterns of production, transmission, consumption, marketing, financing and ownership - these are all in flux.  On the content side, Europe is witnessing the rapid rise of program formats and the slow suffocation of public service output.

The report focuses on the latest changes in nine countries: Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, the Republic of Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. These countries also featured in the OSI's original Television across Europe project (2005), which covered 20 countries. The new reports are sequels.


Key findings:

* Public service broadcasters (PSBs) suffer from mounting politicization and pressure, flawed funding models, and disintegrating reputations.

* Broadcast regulators are also increasingly politicised. Only a few have taken initiatives to let a more diverse range of operators enter the market.

* Public service content has not been boosted by incentives or obligations.

* Transparency of commercial media ownership remains a major problem.

* Although debate on media policy and reform has intensified, civil society is rarely consulted in a meaningful way.

* There has been no concerted effort to promote media literacy. Where this happens at all, it is carried out mainly by NGOs.


The country reports and the regional overview are available at www.mediapolicy.org . They are all available in English while single country reports are also available in translation. Printed copies are also available in limited numbers, and may be ordered using the form available at www.eumap.org/puborder .


For further information, contact: Mark Thompson ([email protected]) or Marius Dragomir ([email protected]). To stay informed about related reports and new content on the mediapolicy.org website, and to provide your own feedback directly, please register on the website and subscribe to the mailinglist: www.mediapolicy.org/join_form .


The report is a project of EUMAP, the EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program of the Open Society Institute, and of the Media Program of the Open Society Foundation. For further information on EUMAP see www.eumap.org; for further information on the Media Program see www.soros.org/initiatives/media .