The Council of Europe has adopted a new Recommendation on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership offering a number of valuable Guidelines to Member States on how to sustain media pluralism and diversity of media content.
The Recommendation comes in the context of an evolving media sector where modern technology and media concentration are putting media pluralism at risk. It identifies various means for Member States to establish an appropriate legislative and policy framework for a pluralist, transparent and participatory media environment.
According to Dr Michael Wagner, Head of Media & Communications Law, who worked in the Group of Experts that prepared the Recommendation, the qualification of public service media (PSM) as an institutional guarantee of media pluralism is particularly welcome:
"The Recommendation recognizes the crucial role of independent PSM in fostering public debate, political pluralism and awareness of diverse opinions. To strengthen this role, it calls for specific measures to protect the editorial independence and operational autonomy of PSM, including stable and sustainable funding provided on a multi-annual basis."
A second Recommendation, on the roles and responsibilities of internet intermediaries, was also adopted on 7 March.