The twelfth webinar in "Europe Debates" series
Media Plurality and Quality Journalism Online
The free press and independent media are pillars of a free society and functioning of a strong democracy. They are the strongest antidote to disinformation. Unfortunately, the media sector has taken a hit as a result of COVID-19. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak the media has had to confront the disruptive effects of online platforms, including changes in media consumption habits and shifts in revenue streams, that has led to the long term unsustainability of traditional business models. The current crisis has amplified these existing issues and could lead to a rapid decline in media pluralism. Whilst media outlets operating in smaller markets, including regional and local press, are in an even more dangerous situation. All the while this crisis has sped up the shift to online platforms and demonstrated the need for greater digital investment in order for the news media to survive.
The question then is how to preserve media plurality and maintain high quality journalism in the digital space? What are the key elements required in order to create a favourable legal framework that would provide for media pluralism online? What financial and policy responses are needed to ensure the economic viability of the media organisations and independent journalists?
Digital Policy Adviser, Cabinet of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
Head of Unit, Audiovisual and Media Policy at European Commission
Member of European Parliament, Latvia
Mogens Blicher Bjerregård
President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
ECR Party Executive Director