Data Journalism for Media Freedom: visualizing media ownership in Europe

On April 8th 2017, at the Centro Servizi G Alessi, a panel took place to discuss the importance of media freedom and how to quantify media ownership in Europe. Chiara Sighele (moderator) projects director of OBC Transeuropa, Marzia Bona editor and researcher at OBC Transeuropa, Elda Brogi from the European University Institute, Lelio Simi co-founder of DataMediaHub, and Ides Debruyne managing director of, expressed the importance to use data journalism to visualize media pluralism.
Marzia Bona posed a question: Who owns the media? She gave an example of the run up to the Serbia election, which resulted in seven out of eight Serbian newspapers endorsing one of the president candidates. She said that many legacy media were giving up accountability to the public, while advertisement and revenues became the primary goal. With state-funding of media companies becoming a more prominent solution, it guarantees the media company a long term revenue. She also pointed out that there were challenges in gathering European level resources, while national data could be easily obtained.
While media pluralism is important to journalism within a country, how do we monitor it? Elda Brogi identified key indicators to monitoring pluralism in Europe. Market plurality, transparency in media ownership, and contraction of single media conglomerates were just some of the few measurements. She explained that the monitoring system for media pluralism covering all 28 European Member Countries, plus Turkey and Montenegro. These key indicators are important for the implementation of European policies for the future, in order to counter media monopoly.
Lastly, Ides Debruyne argued how to counter single media monopoly, which is usually tied to the business model of the media company. His solution was to provide independent journalists grants to carry out their research or work. Fortunately in Europe, there are several foundations that issue grants across the region. He mentioned the Open Society Foundation, Adessium Foundation and

By Irada Yeap