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Terms of reference of the Group of Specialists on media diversity (MC-S-MD)

1.

Name of committee:

Group of Specialists on Media Diversity (MC-S-MD)

2.

Type of committee:

Ad hoc Advisory Group

3.

Source of terms of reference:

Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC)

4.

Terms of reference:

 

Having regard to:

the Political Declaration, the Resolution on cultural diversity and media pluralism in times of globalisation and the Action Plan adopted at the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, March 2005), incorporated as an integral part into the Action Plan of the Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe.

Under the authority of the Steering Committee on the media and new communication services (CDMC), and in relation with the implementation of Project 2004/DG2/40 “Standard-setting and policy assistance on topical issues concerning the media”, the Group is instructed to:

i.

elaborate a detailed proposal for a methodology for the monitoring of media concentration and, if possible, for measuring the impact of media concentration on media pluralism and content diversity (cf. item 9 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

ii.

complete the monitoring of the implementation of Recommendation Rec(2003)9 of the Committee of Ministers on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting, and compile a compendium of good practices in member states in this field (cf. item 14 of the Kyiv Action Plan);

iii.

examine the role of the media in promoting social cohesion and the integration of different communities (cf. item 13 of the Kyiv Action Plan) and in particular:

 

- pay particular attention to the part that can be played in this context by community, local, minority and social media, and prepare a draft standard-setting instrument on possible measures which could be taken in support of these types of media or their contribution;

 

- prepare a document or standard-setting instrument addressing the ways in which the public in all its diversity can be involved in consultative programming structures;

 

- examine the importance of independent productions for media pluralism and social cohesion and prepare a report on the subject or a standard-setting instrument on possible support measures for independent productions (cf. also item 12 of the Kyiv Action Plan).

 

In pursuing the above objectives, the MC-S-MD will take into account the results of the work of the AP-MD on media diversity and transnational concentration in Europe and of the MM-S-DB on the promotion of the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting, as well as the work on media pluralism and cultural diversity under way in other international fora.

Upon request by the CDMC, the MC-S-MD shall provide advice and assistance to the CDMC and/or its subordinate bodies on issues concerning media diversity, and carry out any ad hoc assignments given to it by the CDMC.

5.

Composition of the Group:

5.A

Members

 

The Group shall be composed of 11 specialists with expertise in the field of media law and policy, in particular in the above-mentioned issues, to be appointed by the governments of the following member states: Belgium, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

The Council of Europe budget will bear the travel and subsistence expenses of one specialist from each of the above countries for attendance at meetings of the Group.

Other member states expressing an interest in the work of the Group may designate, at their own expense, specialists to participate in meetings of the Group.

5.B

Participants

i.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe may send a representative/representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

ii.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe may send a representative/representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

iii.

The European Audiovisual Observatory may send a representative to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of its administrative budget.

iv.

The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe may send a representative/representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote and at the charge of the sending body.

5.C

Other participants

i.

The European Commission may send a representative/representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

ii.

States with observer status with the Council of Europe (Canada, Holy See, Japan, Mexico, United States of America) may send a representative/ representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses.

iii.

The following intergovernmental organisations may send a representative/ representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);
- Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

5.D

Observers

 

The following non-governmental organisations may send a representative/ representatives to meetings of the Group, without the right to vote or defrayal of expenses:

- Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT);
- European Broadcasting Union (EBU);
- European Federation of Journalists (EFJ);
- European Internet Service Providers’ Association (Euro-ISPA);
- European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA);
- On-line More Colour in the Media.

6.

Working Structures and Methods:

 

The MC-S-MD shall undertake the necessary research and consultations with relevant parties. Where necessary, and in order to accelerate progress in its work, the MC-S-MD may organise hearings and/or colloquies, within the limits of its budget.

7.

Duration:

 

These terms of reference will expire on 31 December 2008.