THE FUTURE OF THE PRESS CANNOT BE LEFT TO MARKET FORCES ALONE
EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: “This review reflects the challenges faced by the independent press Europe-wide and acknowledges what we have been saying for many years - that the future of our democracy-enhancing, free, independent media is too important to leave to market forces alone.
“Recommendations to introduce fairness and transparency into the dysfunctional online advertising market and to increase the bargaining power of publishers with the dominant platforms are key and are to be welcomed.”
Dame Frances recommends a Competition and Markets Authority market study into the ‘complex and opaque’ online advertising market along with new measures aimed at constraining the behaviour of the online platforms. A competition authority review has already been undertaken in France with more detailed work planned and another similar report is underway in Germany.
Angela continued: “High quality journalism is expensive to produce. This report acknowledges the value of journalism to society and the threat posed by the digital monoliths. Certainly, if the digital imbalance is not addressed, we will only see the world through the lens of Google and Facebook.”
The report’s recommendations include:
- New codes of conduct to rebalance the relationship between publishers and online platform
- The Competition and Markets Authority to investigate the online advertising market to ensure fair competition;
- Online platforms' efforts to improve their users' news experience should be placed under regulatory supervision;
- Ofcom should explore the market impact of BBC News, and whether it inappropriately steps into areas better served by commercial news providers;
- The BBC should do more to help local publishers and think further about how its news provision can act as a complement to commercial news;
- A new independent Institute should be created to ensure the future provision of public interest news;
- A new Innovation Fund should be launched, aiming to improve the supply of public interest news;
- New forms of tax reliefs to encourage payments for online news content and support local and investigative journalism;
- Expanding financial support for local news by extending the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service;
- Developing a media literacy strategy alongside Ofcom, industry and stakeholders.
You can read the full report here:
For further information, please contact:
Heidi Lambert on Tel: +44 1245 476 265 or Angela Mills Wade on Tel: +44 1865 310 732