In terms of risks to public service media’s independence, European countries do not fit neatly in categorizations such as that of Daniel Hallin and Paolo Mancini (2004), writes Maja Šimunjak of Middlesex University London.
Šimunjak reviews the results of the Media Pluralism Monitor 2015 research. Among other things, the project looked into the ways governments may be able to influence public service media in 19 European countries.
Many countries fell into their expected roles: North European countries like Finland, Sweden and Germany scored low risk levels, while South and East European countries like Spain, Slovenia, and Slovakia hit higher risk levels.
Other countries, however, departed from this categorization. For example, Croatia had one of the lowest risk levels in this regard. When looking at the results more closely, even further nuances appear: some countries have low risk scores in government influence, yet still have biased public service media.
Šimunjak’s article “Monitoring political independence of public service media” was published by the Journal of Media Business Studies. It is available online (abstract free). Results of the Media Pluralism Monitor 2015 research are freely available online.
Disclosure: This article was written by Ville Manninen, who also took part in the Media Pluralism Monitor 2015 study.
Picture: Untitled by vargazs, licence CC0 1.0.