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Strasbourg, 24 March 2005

MC-S-MD(2005)03

 

PDF

GROUP OF SPECIALISTS ON MEDIA DIVERSITY
(MC-S-MD)

______

1st meeting
21 and 22 March 2005
Strasbourg, Human Rights Building

______

REPORT

______

Introduction

1. The Group of Specialists on Media Diversity (MM-S-MD) held its first meeting on 21 and 22 March 2005 in the Human Rights Building in Strasbourg. The meeting was chaired by Mr Sigve GRAMSTAD (Norway).

2. The list of participants is reproduced in Appendix I. The agenda as adopted appears in Appendix II.

3. At its first meeting, the MM-S-MD:

- unanimously elected Mr Sigve GRAMSTAD (Norway) Chairperson and Mr Frédéric DEROIN (France) Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term of office;

- held an exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10 and 11 March 2005);

- analysed in detail its terms of reference with a view to taking the preliminary decisions required for launching its work;

- defined the framework for a study to be conducted by an expert on the impact of media concentration on freedom of expression and information, media pluralism and cultural diversity (see Appendix III to this report);

- conducted an initial examination of Recommendations No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency and No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism (with a view to possible updating);

- decided to hold its second meeting in Strasbourg on 14 and 15 November 2005.

Items 1 and 2 of the agenda: Opening of the meeting and adoption of the agenda

4. Ms Charlotte de BROUTELLES, Secretary to the MM-S-MD, opened the meeting and welcomed all the experts present. She introduced Mr Jan MALINOWSKI, who had been appointed Head of the Media Division, Mr Christophe POIREL having taken up a post in the Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers.

5. The Group adopted the meeting agenda.

Item 3 of the agenda: Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for 2005

6. The MM-S-MD unanimously elected Mr Sigve GRAMSTAD (Norway) Chairperson and Mr Frédéric DEROIN (France) Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term of office.

Item 4 of the agenda: Exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10 and 11 March 2005) and their impact on the future work of the MM-S-MD

7. Mr Jan MALINOWSKI briefly outlined the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy, held in Kyiv on 10 and 11 March 2005. He pointed out that many of the delegations to the Conference had asked to speak on the subject of media diversity, which demonstrated the member states’ interest in this issue and hence the importance of the MM-S-MD’s work. He also informed the Group about the Forum of non-governmental organisations that had taken place two days before the Ministerial Conference.

Item 5 of the agenda: Analysis of the terms of reference of the MM-S-MD

8. The MM-S-MD conducted a detailed analysis of its terms of reference with a view to taking the decisions required for launching its work.

9. Regarding the first part of its terms of reference, on the subject of monitoring the development of media concentration in Europe and the impact of such development on the freedoms of expression and information, see the summary of discussions under item 6 below.

10. Regarding the examination of Recommendations No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency and No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism with a view to possible updating of these texts, see item 7 below.

11. In connection with the preparation of a UNESCO International Convention on protection of the diversity of cultural contents and artistic expressions, the MM-S-MD noted that the schedules for the UNESCO’s and its own meetings (the Convention is to be adopted at the 33rd UNESCO General Conference to be held from 3 to 21 October 2005) made it impossible to produce a document which could be useful in the preparation of the adoption of the Convention. The Group decided that it would consider the consequences of the Convention for the media and propose possible action once that instrument has been adopted. The MM-S-MD decided to postpone its next meeting to after the adoption of the Convention, and to meet on 14 and 15 November 2005. It asked the Secretariat to invite, if possible, a member of the UNESCO Secretariat, to attend the November meeting in order to present the Convention adopted.

12. The MM-S-MD considered how it could monitor the implementation by member states of the Committee of Ministers’ Recommendation Rec (2003) 9 on measures to promote the democratic and social contribution of digital broadcasting. It decided that a select group made up of the Spanish, Norwegian and Lithuanian experts and the Secretariat would draw up, for the next meeting, a questionnaire on the initial measures taken by member states in the wake of the adoption of Recommendation Rec (2003) 9 and/or any difficulties that might have prevented them from taking action on this matter. This draft questionnaire, which should mention the subsequent dispatch of a second more detailed questionnaire, would be examined by the whole Group at its meeting in November 2005 before being dispatched.

Item 6 of the agenda: Examination of the impact of media concentration on freedom of expression with a view to suggesting initiatives to preserve media pluralism: working methods and definition of a possible study to be carried out by an expert

13. The MM-S-MD discussed the scope of the studies which it would like to conduct with a view to proposing initiatives for the protection of media pluralism. It decided that its work should cover national and transnational concentrations, and that the media to be examined should embrace all those involved in shaping public opinion, namely broadcasting, press and on-line media services.

14. Where national media concentrations were concerned, the MM-S-MD decided to mandate a consultant to produce a study on “the effects of media concentration on freedom of expression and information, media pluralism and cultural diversity”. It drew up terms of reference for this consultant (see Appendix III) and asked the Secretariat to deal with the administrative arrangements for engaging such an expert, specifying that the study should be available to the Group for its next meeting.

15. As regards transnational media concentration the MM-S-MD explored possibilities of cooperation with the European Audiovisual Observatory (EAO). Two members of the EAO’s staff informed the Group that the Observatory held extensive data on the broadcasting market share and national legislation regarding media concentrations, and indicated that most such data could be transmitted to the Group, but clarified that some is incomplete and/or would have to be checked and processed to render it usable. Following this presentation, the MM-S-MD decided that it would be useful for the Group to be initially supplied with an overview of transnational concentration as at the end of 2004, drawing particularly on the information which the EAO might provide.

In this context, the Group also expressed its wish that the press sector be also taken into account.

16. Lastly, the MM-S-MD discussed what kind of proposals were needed with a view to preserving media pluralism. Several experts argued that a new Council of Europe mechanism for monitoring media concentrations could prove a valuable asset. It was pointed out that ad hoc studies on this subject quickly became outdated, and that the issue of media concentration was important enough to justify introducing a permanent supervisory mechanism. The Group decided to continue its discussions, at its next meeting, on the possible introduction of such a mechanism.

Item 7 of the agenda: Examination of Recommendations No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency and No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism with a view to their possible update

17. The MM-S-MD held initial discussions on Recommendations No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency and No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism. The MM-S-MD pointed out that these recommendations did not cover the digital environment and that a definition was needed of the concept of “media” in the digital environment. It also noted that, at first sight, the principles set out in both recommendations remain on the whole valid but now seem incomplete.

18. One expert observed that, in the digital environment, “bottlenecks” and Internet search engines were posing a challenge to pluralism and should therefore be closely examined.

19. As regards more particularly search engines, the MM-S-MD decided that information should be gathered on the consequences of their mode of operation for media pluralism, possibly by means of a questionnaire to be sent to the main search engine operators and selected media. It decided to come back to this issue at its next meeting.

20. Another expert pointed out that the European Union’s E-Commerce Directive (adopted in 2000) and the reports on the incorporation of the Directive into domestic law might prove an interesting source of information for the MM-S-MD.

21. In conclusion, the MM-S-MD decided to reserve its decision whether to update the above-mentioned recommendations or opt for alternative action, and to resume consideration of this item at its next meeting.

Item 8 of the agenda: Definition of orientations for the other future work of the MM-S-MD

22. No matters were raised under this item.

Item 9 of the agenda: Other business

23. No issues were discussed under this item.

Item 10 of the agenda: Dates of next meeting

24. The MM-S-MD decided to hold its second meeting in Strasbourg on 14 and 15 November 2005.

APPENDIX I

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

I. MEMBER STATES/ETATS MEMBRES

Albania/Albanie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Andorra/Andorre
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Armenia/Armenie

Mr David AMIRYAN, Deputy Director for Programs, Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation Armenia

Austria/Autriche
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Azerbaijan/Azerbaïdjan
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Belgium/Belgique

Mme Muriel COLOT, Attaché, Service général de l’audiovisuel et des multimédias, Communauté française

Bosnia and Herzegovina/Bosnie-Herzégovine
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Bulgaria/Bulgarie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Croatia/Croatie

Ms Zrinjka PERUŠKO, Head of the Deparmtent for Culture and Communication, Institute for International Relations

Cyprus/Chypre
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Czech Republic/République tchèque
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Denmark/Danemark
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Estonia/Estonie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Finland/Finlande
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

France

M. Frédéric DEROIN, Adjoint au Chef du bureau des affaires européennes et internationales, Service du Premier Ministre, Direction du développement des médias

Georgia/Géorgie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Germany/Allemagne
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Greece/Grèce

Ms Marina PAPANASTASIOU, Press Attachée, Directorate EPOPTEIA, Section Media, Secretariat General for Information, Secretariat General for Communication
Apologised/excusée

Mr Ioannis MANTZOURANIS, Conseiller de presse, Représentation Permanente de la Grèce auprès du Conseil de l’Europe

Hungary/Hongrie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Iceland/Islande
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Ireland/Irlande
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Italy/Italie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Latvia/Lettonie

Mr Ilmārs ŠLĀPINS, Advisor on Culture and Humanities to the President of Ministers, State Chancellery

Liechtenstein
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Lithuania/Lituanie

Ms Audrone NUGARAITE, Director, Institute of Journalism, Vilnius University

Luxembourg
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Malta/Malte
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Monaco
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Moldova
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Netherlands/Pays-Bas
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Norway/Norvège

Mr Lars BRUSTAD, Assistant Director General, Department of Media and Copyright, Ministry of Cutlure and Church Affairs

Mr Sigve GRAMSTAD, Director, The Norwegian Media Authority

Poland/Pologne

Mr Pawel STEPKA, Senior Inspector, National Broadcasting Council

Portugal

M. Agostinho PISSARREIRA, Instituto da Comunicação Social

Mr Sebastiao LIMA REGO, Regulation des Media, Alta Autoridade para Comunicaçao Social

Romania/Roumanie
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Russian Federation/Fédération de Russie

Mrs Elena L. VARTANOVA, Professor, Vice-Dean, Head of Media Economic Department, Faculty of Journalism, Moscow State University

San Marino/Saint-Marin
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Serbia and Montenegro/Serbie-Monténégro
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Slovak Republic/République slovaque
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Slovenia/Slovénie

Ms Dr. Sandra Bašic HRVATIN, President of the Broadcasting Council of Slovenia, SRDF Broadcasting Council of Slovenia
Apologised/excusée

Spain/Espagne

Mme Maria Luisa GIL FERRER, Chef de Section de la Sous-direction générale des moyens audiovisuels, Ministère de l’Industrie, du Tourisme et du Commerce

Sweden/Suède
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Suisse

M. Jacques FAVRE, Chargé de cours à l’Université de Fribourg
Apologised/excusé

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

Mr Janko NIKOLOVSKI, Head of Media Sector of the Agency of Information, Agency of Information

Turkey/Turquie

Ms Arzu İÇİNSEL, Regulatory Authority, Radio and Television Supreme Council

Ukraine
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

United Kingdom/Royaume-Uni

Mr Mark FERRERO, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Apologised/excusé

OTHER PARTICI¨PANTS/AUTRES PARTICIPANTS

Parliamentay Assembly of the Council of Europe/Assemblée Parlementaire du Conseil de l’Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe/Congrès des Pouvoirs Locaux et Régionaux du Conseil de l’Europe
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Audiovisual Observatory/Observatoire européen de l’Audiovisuel
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Commission/Commission européenne

Mr Adam WATSON BROWN, Principal Administrator, Unit A1: Audiovisual & Media Policies; Digital Rights, Task Force for Co-ordination of Media Affairs, DG Information Society Media, European Commission

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

Canada
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Holy See/Saint-Siège
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Japan/Japon
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

Mexico/Mexique
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

United States of America/Etats-Unis d’Amérique
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

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

UNESCO
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

OSCE
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

European Broadcasting Union/Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision

M. Adrian FIKENTSCHER, Conseiller juridique, Département juridique, Union Européenne de Radio-Télévision

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

Mr Ross BIGGAM, General Director

European Federation of Journalists/Fédération européenne des Journalistes

Mr Gustl GLATTFELDER, Senior Advisor, European Federation of Journalists
Apologised/excusé

European Newspaper Publishers’ Association/Association européenne des Editeurs de Journaux

Ms Hannah McCAUSLAND, European Affairs Advisor, European Newspaper Publishers’ Association

European Internet Service Providers’ Association/Association européenne des Fournisseurs de Services Internet
[Apologised/excusé(e)]

IV. SECRETARIAT

Mr Jan MALINOWSKI, Head of the Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II/ Chef de la Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

Ms Charlotte de BROUTELLES, Secretary to the MM-S-MD, Administrative Officer, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights - DG II/ Secrétaire du MM-S-MD, Administratrice, Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

Mr Lee HIBBARD, Administrative Officer, Media Division, Directorate General of Human Rights – DG II/Administrateur, Division Media, Direction Générale des Droits de l’Homme - DG II

Mme Christine FARCOT

Mme Josette YOESLE-BLANC

Mme Monique PALMIER

APPENDIX II

AGENDA

1. Opening of the meeting

2. Adoption of the agenda
MM-S-MD (2005) OJ 1

3. Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for 2005

Working document:

- Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson
MM-S-MD (2005) 1

4. Exchange of views on the results of the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy (Kyiv, 10-11 March 2005) and their impact on the future work of the MM-S-MD

Information document1:

- Texts adopted at the 7th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy
MCM (2005) 5

5. Analysis of the terms of reference of the MM-S-MD

Working documents:

- Compendium of the terms of reference of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies
CDMM (2005) 2

- Extracts from the report of the 63rd meeting of the CDMM
MM-S-MD (2005) 2

- Draft work plan for 2005
CDMM (2005) 3

Information document1:

- Timetable of meetings of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies for 2005
CDMM (2004) 13

6. Examination of the impact of media concentration on freedom of expression with a view to suggesting initiatives to preserve media pluralism: working methods, definition of a possible study to be carried out by an expert

Working documents:

- Extracts from the report of the 63rd meeting of the CDMM
MM-S-MD (2005) 2

- Draft work plan for 2005
CDMM (2005) 3

Information documents1:

- Transnational media concentrations in Europe, report prepared by the AP-MD
AP-MD (2004) 7

- Media Diversity in Europe, report prepared by the AP-MD
AP-MD (2003) 1

- Regulatory challenges of transnational media concentration, 20th EPRA Meeting, Istanbul, 14-15 October 2004, presentation by Sigve Gramstad

- Media ownership and pluralism: regulatory trends and challenges in the European Union Member States 20th EPRA Meeting, Istanbul, 14-15 October 2004, presentation by Deirdre Kevin

7. Examination of Recommendations No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency and No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism, with a view to their possible update

Working documents:

- Recommendation No. R (94) 13 on measures to promote media transparency

- Recommendation No. R (99) 1 on measures to promote media pluralism

8. Definition of orientations for the other future work of the MM-S-MD

Working documents:

- Compendium of the terms of reference of the CDMM and its subordinate bodies
CDMM (2005) 2

- Extracts from the report of the 63rd meeting of the CDMM
MM-S-MD (2005) 2

- Draft work plan for 2005
CDMM (2005) 3

Information document1:

- Comments on the draft Convention on cultural diversity prepared by the RIPC
AP-MD (2003) 4

9. Other business

10. Date of next meeting

APPENDIX III

Terms of Reference for the Commissioning of the Studyon the
Effects of Media Concentration on Freedom of Expression and Information,
Media Pluralism and Cultural Diversity

Purpose: to show the effects of concentration in the media on the freedom of expression, diversity and pluralism of media content, especially in relation to public interest. Both economic and political consequences of concentration should therefore be taken into account.

The study should focus on the press and broadcasting sectors, however, internet activities which are comparable to traditional media, in the sense that they influence public opinion, should also be included.

The study should be country-based and cover at least 6 countries from different parts of Europe representing different market and media structures.

The study should preferably include:

- a review of literature and existing data on the impact of concentration on media content;

- current data on:

- a general overview of market dynamics;

- Relationship between economic process of concentration and media content from various angles, such as:

- audience attitudes, confidence and satisfaction and correlation with concentration and changes in programming trends, notably prime time programming. The research topic here would be: has programming changed as a direct consequence of concentration, and if so, what are the changes?

- share of programmes dealing with socially, politically and culturally important issues;

- a comparison of the current results with previous research.


1 Information documents will not be available in the meeting room. They will be available on request.