The Media Pluralism Monitor has examined 30 European countries and finds that none of them is free from risks for media pluralism. The three Nordic countries in the survey – Denmark, Finland and Sweden – are reported as low-risk countries, but with warning signs due to a concentration in media ownership.
The Media Pluralism Monitor, conducted by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF), is a tool designed to assess media pluralism in the EU member states. It examines the risks for media pluralism in four thematic areas: basic protection, market plurality, political independence, and social inclusiveness. The results are based on 20 indicators, five per each area.
Generally low risks in the Nordic region
In the Nordic countries there is generally good ground for media pluralism. In e.g. the area of basic protection – including freedom of expression, the right to information, the status of journalists, etc. – they all show low risks, in line with most of the EU countries.
MPM 2016: The Nordic countries’ scores for risks for media pluralism (%)
Denmark and Sweden also show good results for political independence, with indicators such as editorial autonomy and independence of public service media; and for social inclusiveness, which measures media literacy and access to media by various social and cultural groups.
Finland, on the other hand, shows medium risks, which is mostly related to a lack of regulation. Here, the report suggests, e.g., that the relationship between the public service company Yle and the state should be formulated more explicitly (political independence) and that support to local and minority media should be expanded (social inclusiveness).
Small and highly concentrated Nordic markets
The largest risk for media pluralism in the Nordic countries is linked to market plurality. Denmark, Finland and Sweden have a high concentration of media ownership, mostly explained by their being relatively small media markets.
Also in the EU as a whole, the highest risks are related to market plurality; the media ownership concentration being the only indicator for which all countries score medium or high risks. Commercial and owner influence over editorial content is also a matter of concern for many EU countries, and for the two EU candidates under consideration.
About the method: The CMPF cooperates with national researchers to carry out the data collection and to author the reports, which are reviewed by CMPF staff. Moreover, to ensure accurate and reliable findings, a group of national experts in each country review the answers to particularly evaluative questions. For more information on the methodology and the national researchers and experts involved, see each country report. Read more about CMPF.