There will be no summer break for European policy-makers until decisions are made about EU top jobs and coalitions are formed. The European Parliament has already suffered a setback as the Spitzenkandidaten process has been trampled by heads of states. This has triggered an OpEd by Christophe Leclercq, founder of EURACTIV Media Network, calling MEPs to demand a VP for Democracy within the new European Commission.
The #Media4Democracy event on June 25th at the European Parliament gathered a wide diversity of stakeholders. MEPs, EU officials, and media representatives agreed to address the causes of the sector’s problems and not only the symptoms. This requires both policies to rebalance the ecosystem, and funding to help modernise the infrastructure for democracy. Beyond the private sector and national support, the EU could play a role, including setting this as a high priority. This could be supported during coalition talks, by parliamentary groups asking for a Vice President for Democracy, and setting up an intergroup between MEPs.
This month’s newsletter reflects breadth of the stakes at hand in the near future, from the role of digital platforms to the need of an industrial sector strategy for the media sector.
We look forward to engaging in further debates and projects with you,
Media policy events:
#MEDIA4DEMOCRACY – Europe’s Media Lab
4 June – Networking event for MEPs
On June 4th, Fondation EURACTIV, in cooperation with EU40 and Frank Schwalba-Hoth, organised one of the first networking events for MEPs in the new mandate. 25 MEPs (new, returning and departing) discussed the strategic role media policy will play in the new Parliament, and their interest in a Media Inter-group. MEPs who supported the media sector in 2014-19 were awarded. Read the Press Release and watch the interviews with the participants in the video below.
#Media4Democracy interviews: networking event for MEPs
25 June – #Media4Democracy Conference
This event was subtitled: “A ‘VP Democracy’ for sound platforms & independent media” and involved 10 speakers representing the EU institutions, the media sector, as well as associations and think-tanks: Strategy for media ecosystem 2019-2024, with a ‘Democracy Commissioner’ and an ‘MEP media intergroup‘. Read the article about this event and watch the highlights video below.
Highlights Video – 25 June event
Association of European Journalists – Tech Talks – 4 July 2019
AEJ Belgium launches the first session of Tech Talks, “Is 5G set to be a network for everything?” on July 4, in collaboration with BREKO. The event will be moderated by EURACTIV journalist Samuel Stolton.
Digital News: Platforms under pressure
“The power of online platforms”
“The biggest threat to competition and innovation,” Vestager said at the OECD’s conference on competition and the digital economy, “comes from platforms that are not just a single business, but the centre of large empires.” Read the article on EURACTIV.com, by Samuel Stolton.
“Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018, Study Says“, The New York Times.
Call for regulation to avoid Facebook’s “dictatorship”
The recent controversies over Facebook relaunch the idea of “dismantling” the platform as “Facebook basically works like a dictatorship.” Read “The great power of Mark Zuckerberg challenged at the Facebook general assembly” on aiskills.tech.
Freedom of press in Europe no longer self-evident
“Up until recently, freedom of press was considered as a self-evidence in Europe. That is no longer the case, especially in several Eastern European countries, where journalists have come under severe political pressure.” Read the article on EURACTIV.com, by Claire Stam.
Justice Dept. Explores Google Antitrust Case
Facebook’s new metric favors personal interactions over quality media
‘Personal’ can also massively relay fake news and rumors. This is how Bolsonaro won in Brazil, supported by ‘private’ messages on WhatsApp. Should such changes be unilateral from California, or co-regulated in Europe? Read the article: “Facebook passt den Newsfeed erneut an: Warum das eher schlechte Nachrichten für Publisher sind”
In search of a new balance between media and GAFA
Job Vacancy: Media Innovation Project Manager
This Month’s Insights
“Knowledge isn’t always power”: The Perils of Public Engagement: Why we need to take care with making the public aware
“Doteveryone believes that every part of society needs to drive the change to responsible technology. We take a systems-change approach, working with policymakers, industry and the public. But for this system to work, we must ensure people are empowered, not overwhelmed.”
Demos Report: Safer Platforms in the Digital Age
This report goes beyond the concept of “fake news” and suggests modern information operations:
“Digital platforms must accept the demands by regulators and lawmakers for change, and cooperate with and support the efforts of civil society and academia in identifying the ways their platforms are being exploited, including a commitment to co-create a robust evidence base on safe platform design.”