Publication Date: May 2021
Research and Editorial Team: Arthur LE GALL

The Media Action Plan released by the European Commission in December 2020 is the first policy document explicitly setting out a vision and dedicated initiatives for the news media sector. This paper discusses the current situation of the sector and its revenue streams, the important impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the main public and private funding models to support the sector.

Among the key findings:

  • The necessity of an independent, robust and diverse news media sector is a cornerstone of the European Union democracies.
  • The combination of the COVID-19 impact with the need to adapt to the digital shift puts the sector at risk, and initiatives to support the news media sector are certainly timely.
  • Funding for the news media sector requires complying with a set of key principles to ensure that the support provided does not lead to political interference or hamper the diversity of news media outlets.
  • Finding a right balance between public and private funding is needed, while considering the diversity of operators in the news media sector.
  • Transparency in the way funding is allocated and channelled is an important prerequisite for the design of news media support schemes, as well as maintaining independence and safeguarding editorial responsibility of news media outlets.
Tags: COVID-19 Media ownership Digitalisation

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