Our Director Marius Dragomir was one of the presenters at the Sixth Expert Roundtable of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, discussing the role of public service media in countering disinformation.
He presented his study on the sorry, sorry state of state media in 151 countries that he wrote in 2021 and was published by the Center for Media, Data & Society that he previously led. The project is now run by a consortium of academic institutions led by Media and Journalism Research Center.
He talked about the state media matrix, the new state media typology developed to have a more nuanced understanding of state media types, ranging from independent public media to state controlled media. He pointed out that independent public media have become a rarity, with a shockingly low number, 18 of them identified in the study. He said media capture was on the rise. During the discussion, he explained the concept of media capture, its different manifestations and why governments strive to capture the media.
Asked about the potential impact of state funding for independent media, he said governments had a tendency to interfere with the editorial agenda of the media outlets they provided funding for, but state support did not need to be a problem. The important thing is to have transparency mechanisms in place and to ensure editorial independence.
He also talked about the importance of professional norms. He said statutes that guaranteed the independence of public media and the assessment or monitoring of public media independence were very important for independent public service media.
The list of panelists included Minna Aslama Horowitz, Docent at the University of Helsinki, a researcher at Nordic Observatory for Digital Media and Information Disorder (NORDIS), Nicola Frank, Head of Institutional and International Relations, European Broadcasting Union, Ara Shirinyan, Chair of the Council of Public Television and Radio Company of Armenia and Luc van Bakel, editor-in-chief of the research unit of VRT NWS (public service media in Belgium). The discussion was opened by Teresa Ribeiro, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and moderated by Andrey Rikhter, Temporary Adviser, OSCE RFOM.