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Strasbourg, 8 October 2008

MC-S-MD(2008)009

PDF

 

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON MEDIA DIVERSITY

(MC-S-MD)

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8th meeting
15 and 16 September 2008
Agora, Strasbourg
Room G04

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REPORT

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Item 1 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

1. The meeting was opened by Mr Jacques Favre (Switzerland), Chair of the MC-S-MD, who welcomed the participants. The Secretariat gave some information on the draft agenda and working documents, as well as outlining the objectives of the meeting.

2. The list of participants is set out in Appendix I. The agenda, as adopted, is set out in Appendix II; the working documents are listed in the annotated agenda (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)OJ2Notes_rev).

    Items 2 and 3 of the agenda: Decisions of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) of interest to the work of the MC-S-MD; Other possible information of interest to the work of the MC-S-MD

3. The Secretariat gave a brief report on two points. Amongst other things, the Group was informed about the progress made on the “Living together” project (on-line and paper publication concerning the media’s contribution to intercultural dialogue, understanding, tolerance and social cohesion). The working group held a meeting on 6 and 7 May this year to establish the content of the publication, working methods and set-up a work time-line. It is planned that the text will be ready to publish in January 2009 and will be available during the Ministerial Conference in Reykjavik.

Item 4 of the agenda: Methodology for the monitoring of media concentration and media content diversity examination of a draft report on this matter, prepared by the Croatian, Russian and Swiss delegations

4. The Group examined the draft report on Methodology for the monitoring of media concentration and media content and diversity, prepared by a working group (Croatia, Russia and Switzerland), who met in Strasbourg last May. The MC-S-MD examined the structure and content of the document, discussed each of the three chapters and made some amendments (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)007rev – as amended by the Group).

5. Regarding the chapter on practices in monitoring media concentration and pluralism in member states, an expert suggested some corrections concerning her country. As for the chapter on measuring device(s) used in existing monitoring processes or scientific studies, an expert suggested avoiding mathematical formula as the latter had not been used for a certain time. Regarding the chapter on key-issues of media concentration and media diversity and pluralism, some experts pointed out that certain text should be deleted/corrected, other parts should be rewritten in a softer manner. It was agreed that if such a fundamental revision would take too much time and effort, in view of the controversial character of the chapter in question, it should be deleted altogether.

Item 5 of the agenda: Implementation of Recommendation R (2003) 9 on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting examination of a draft report on this matter, prepared by the Austrian delegation

6. The Austrian delegation gave a brief presentation of the draft report on the Implementation of Recommendation R (2003) on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting which, apart from giving an overview of the current situation in member states, establishes a compilation of good practises (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)008rev).

7. In general, the document has been favourably received by members of the Group. A number of experts noted that the comments made during the Group’s 7th meeting had been taken into account in the revised version of the text. One expert suggested modifying the title of the report, given that the report is not, strictly speaking, a document to monitor the implementation of Recommendation R (2003)9 of the Committee of Ministers. The Group agreed that it would be more appropriate to refer to this document as to a report on the current situation of democracy and social contribution of digital broadcasting in member states.

Item 6 of the agenda: Examination of the role of the media in promoting social cohesion and the integration of different communities

    (a) the role that can be played by community, local, minority and social mediaexamination of a draft Declaration on this matter

8. The Secretariat presented a draft Declaration on the role that can be played by community, local, minority and social media, thanked members of the Group who had contributed to the work on this text. Recalled that, according to its mandate, the Group should examine the role that community media could play and draw-up a draft standard-setting instrument on possible measures to be taken to support these media. Considering the sensitivity of the subject (highlighted during a previous meeting of the Group) and, for the moment, its relatively unexplored character, this format of the draft Declaration would seems better suited to fulfilling the mandate.

9. The Group agreed that the document should approach the problems of community media in a balanced way. During the following discussion on the text, the Group amended and approved the document (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)004).

10. Only the Spanish delegation expressed its authorities reservations relating to community media. Stating that it is not necessary to have community media because public service media broadcasting covers all sectors:  the best way for community and minority media to be expressed is through public service media, indicating that its position could be explained by the Spanish authorities negative experience with certain communities or extreme-right political groups with unclear financing.

11. Members of the Group pointed out that the terminological confusion could be explained by the numerous terms used to indicate “community media”. The Group agreed that in promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialog, the draft Declaration must not, under any circumstances, serve the causes of the extremist groups mentioned by the Spanish authorities.

    (b) the ways in which the public, in all its diversity, can be involved in consultative programming structures examination of a draft report on the subject prepared by the representative of “On-Line More Colour in the Media” (OLMCM)

12. The MC-S-MD examined a draft text on the ways in which the public, in all its diversity, can be involved in consultative programming structures, prepared by the representative of “Online/More Colour in the Media” (OLMCM). An expert pointed out that the text contained some interesting sociological and education elements, but unfortunately, it did not sufficiently concentrate on the topic in question, and lacked coherent structure. Representatives from the EBU and UNESCO presented comments that had been submitted in writing before the meeting. Another expert noted that the draft report should make reference to a study published by UNESCO (“Media education” by Divina Frau-Meigs), which had seemingly been a great source of inspiration.

13. The representative of OLMCM explained that he, unfortunately, would not have the time or capacity to modify this text. He suggested that the Group contract a consultant to continue this work. The Secretariat noted that even if we were able to find a consultant available at such short notice to carry out this work, there is very little time to prepare a text which can be seen and revised by the MC-S-MD Group before submitting it to the CDMC at its meeting at the end of November. However, the text could submitted electronically to members of the CDMC in December, this is the only practical way in which the Group can accomplish this item of its current mandate. The Group agreed that possibility should be explored.

    (c) the importance of independent productions for media pluralism and social cohesionexamination of a revised version of the draft report on possible support measures intended for independent productions, prepared by the Romanian delegation

14. The Romanian delegation presented a draft report on the role of independent productions in promoting cultural diversity, revised in the light of suggestions made by MC-S-MD members during its 7th meeting in March 2007 and comments made by the European Commission in June. The EBU comments were presented by its representative, which had been sent to the Secretariat prior to this meeting. The members of the Group agreed with the proposed amendments and the text was revised accordingly (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)006rev – report as revised).

Item 7 of the agenda: CDMC work beyond 2008 – examination of proposals for subjects and working structures as well as the draft decisions of the 1st Council of Europe Conference of Ministers responsible for the media and new communication service, 28 and 29 May 2009, Reykjavik (Iceland)

15. The members of the Group examined the draft programme of the Ministerial Conference which will take place in Reykjavik in 2009. They then discussed the Group’s work beyond 2008, in relation with the draft agenda of the Conference. The Secretariat presented a list of subjects for the possible renewal of the Group’s terms of reference and a possible debate during the Reykjavik Conference. After some modifications the members of the Group agreed with the list of subjects (cf. document MC-S-MD(2008)005).

Item 8 of the agenda: Other questions

16. None

Appendix / Annexe I

List of participants /Liste des participants

I. MEMBER STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

Austria/Autriche

Ms Martina HIRSCH, Federal Chancellery of Austria

Belgium/Belgique
<Apologised/Excusée>
Mme Muriel COLOT, Attachée, Service général de l’audiovisuel et des multimédias, Communauté française

Bulgaria/Bulgarie

Mme Nina VENOVA, Bulgarian News Agency, Rédacteur LIK

Croatia/Croatie

Dr Zrinjka PERUŠKO, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Chair, Centre for media and communication research

France
<Apologised/Excusée>
M. Xavier INGLEBERT, Adjoint au Chef du Bureau des affaires européennes et internationales, Direction du Développement des Médias, Services du Premier Ministre

Greece/Grèce

Mme Maria GIANNAKAKI, Attachée de Presse, Représentation Permanente de la Grèce auprès du Conseil de l'Europe

Latvia/Lettonie

Mr Krists LEIŠKALNS, Public Relations Adviser, President of the Ministry, State Chancellery

Lithuania/Lituanie

M s Audrone NUGARAITE, Associate Professor, Institute of Journalism, Vilnius University

Norway/Norvège
<Apologised/Excusée>
Mr Lars BRUSTAD, Assistant Director General, Department of Media and Copyright, Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs

Poland/Pologne

Mr Pawel STEPKA, Senior Inspector, National Broadcasting Council

Portugal

M. Agostinho PISSARREIRA, Expert, Cabinete para os meios de comunicagão social, Department for Media, Palacio Foz, Praça dos Restauradores, 1250-187 LISBOA
Tel: + 351 21 322 12 95 Fax: + 351 21 322 12 49 E-mail: agostinho@gmcs.pt

Romania/Roumanie

Mme Elly-Ana TARNACOP-MOGA, Conseillère pour les affaires européennes, Ministère de la Culture et des Cultes

Russian Federation/Fédération de Russie
<Apologised/Excusée>
Mrs Elena VARTANOVA, Acting Dean, Professor, Faculty Of Journalism, Moscow State University

Slovak Republic/République slovaque

M. Igor CHOVAN, Head of the licensing Department, Council for broadcasting and retransmission

Spain/Espagne

Professor Carmen CILLER TENREIRO, Journalism and Audiovisual Communication University Carlos III de Madrid

Switzerland/Suisse

M. Jacques FAVRE, Expert médias, Chargé de cours à l’Université de Fribourg

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”/ « L’ex-Répulique yougoslave de Macédoine »

Mr Janko NIKOLOVSKI, President of the Commission, Commission for protecting the right on free access to information of public character

Turkey/Turquie

Mr Nihat ÇAYLAK, Expert, International Relations Department, Radio and Television Supreme Council

United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni
<Apologised/Excusée>
Mr Mark FERRERO, Department of Culture, Media and Sport

I. OTHER PARTICIPANTS/AUTRES PARTICIPANTS

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe/Assemblée Parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe/Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe

European Audiovisual Observatory/Observatoire européen de l’Audiovisuel

European Commission/Commission européenne

Mr Pierre-Yves ANDRAU, Policy and legal officer - Member of the Media Task Force, DG Information Society Media, European Commission

II. OSERVERS WITH THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE/OBSERVATEURS AUPRES DU CONSEIL DE L’EUROPE

Canada

Holy See/Saint-Siège

M. Christian Gouyaud, Attaché, expert, Mission Permanente du Saint-Siège auprès du Conseil de l'Europe

III. OSERVERS WITH THE MC-S-MD/OBSERVATEURS AU SEIN DU MC-S-MD

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

Ms Mirta LOURENÇO, Chief of Section, Media Capacity-Building, Communication development, UNESCO

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)/
Organisation pour la Sécurité et la Coopération en Europe (OSCE)

European Broadcasting Union/Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision

Mme Anne-Catherine BERG, Conseiller juridque, Legal and Public Affairs Department, EBU-UER

Association of Commercial Television in Europe/Association des Télévisions commerciales européennes

European Federation of Journalists/Fédération européenne des Journalistes

European Newspaper Publishers’ Association/Association européenne des Editeurs de Journaux (ENPA)

Mme Margaret BORIBON, Secrétaire Générale, Les journaux francophones Belges, Association Européenne des Editeurs de Journaux

Foundation 'Online/More Colour in the Media

Mr Ed KLUTE, President, OLMCM

European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA)

Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE)

Mr Pieter de WIT, President, CMFE, Director OLON

Ms Nadia BELLARDI, Vice-President, CMFE

IV. INVITED

V. SECRETARIAT

Mr Eugen CIBOTARU, Administrator, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights / Administrateur, Division Médias, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme

Ms Franziska KLOPFER, Administrator, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights / Administrateur, Division Médias, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme

Mrs Victoria LEE, Assistant, Media Division, Directorate General of Human rights / Assistante, Division Médias, Direction Générale des Droits de l'Homme

VI. INTERPRETERS

Mr Robert SZYMANSKI
Ms Chloé CHENETIER
Ms Katia DI STEFANO

Appendix / Annexe II

1. Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

2. Decisions of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) of interest to the work of the MC-S-MD

3. Other information of interest to the work of the MC-S-MD

4. Methodology for the monitoring of media concentration and media content diversity examination of a draft report on this matter

5. Implementation of Recommendation R (2003) 9 on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting examination of a draft report on this matter

6. Examination of the role of the media in promoting social cohesion and the integration of different communities:

    (a) the role that can be played by community, local, minority and social mediaexamination of a draft Declaration on this matter

    (b) the ways in which the public, in all its diversity, can be involved in consultative programming structuresconsideration of a draft document on this matter

    (c) the importance of independent productions for media pluralism and social cohesionexamination of a revised draft report on this matter

7. CDMC work beyond 2008 - consideration of proposals for subject areas and working structures as well as for draft decisions of the Reykjavik Conference

8. Other business

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