In the digital era, accessing content and information has never appeared so easy. Digital platforms – such as news aggregators, search engines, app stores, and social media – increasingly help people to find, navigate, rank, organize, select, share, and access information online. They have the potential to transform – and are already changing – the consumption of media content and the way in which citizens can engage with politics and society.

PAST EVENT

Future Media Lounge

Digital Platforms: Helping or Hurting Media Pluralism?

  • 18:00-20:00, 29 September 2015.
  • European Parliament, Brussels

Event Summary

In general, the media have a significant role to play in supporting and shaping cultural diversity and values and thus ensuring the effective functioning of democratic societies. For more than a hundred of years in Europe, measures have been taken in order to ensure that (a) people can access a wide range and highly diverse content and (b) that there is not just one content supplier on the marketplace, having undue influence over the public opinion forming.

In the digital era, accessing content and information has never appeared so easy. Digital platforms – such as news aggregators, search engines, app stores, and social media – increasingly help people to find, navigate, rank, organize, select, share, and access information online. They have the potential to transform – and are already changing – the consumption of media content and the way in which citizens can engage with politics and society.

Yet, whereas there is an a priori positive perception of the emerging role played by digital platforms in facilitating the access and consumption of information, some have raised their potential to act as gatekeepers insofar as they hold a very dominant position in their respective markets. For the purpose of media pluralism, an emerging concern is how to ensure that the activities of these powerful platforms do not lead to a reduction in the quantity and quality of content actually available to consumers, and/or do not undermine democratic communication (e.g. through the suppression or arbitrary selection of information). Their broader impact on future sustainable business models for an independent media sector and the increasing role they play in the production and dissemination of high-quality content for informed citizens will also be in the focus of this Future Media Lounge session.

By doing so, this event finds an echo with the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy published on 6 May which addresses inter alia, the role of online platforms. It therefore aims to feed into this ongoing policy discussion and shed a light on digital platforms and the implications of their activities for media pluralism both now and in the future.

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Speakers

Expert Commentators

MODERATOR AND HOST

This event was moderated by David Earnshaw, President and Senior Advisor of Burson-Marsteller in Brussels and hosted by the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) on behalf of Andrew Lewer, MBE MEP.

Supporting Organizations | Media Partners

The Future Media Lounge

The Future Media Lounge is an initiative of the Future Media Lab., and aims to bring together representatives of Europe’s media sector with relevant stakeholders and policymakers to discuss key policy questions facing the industry in an intimate environment.