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Measuring media concentration and diversity: new approaches and instruments in Europe and the USA


Just, N (2009). Measuring media concentration and diversity: new approaches and instruments in Europe and the USA. Media, Culture & Society:97-117.

Abstract

Debates about media concentration and its adequate handling are not coming to an end. This paper stresses the dual character of media goods, the underlying ideological ideals, and the attendant institutional setting as source of value conflict in communications policy making. It discusses this value conflict and gives examples of where it surfaces and how it is confronted. It is particularly evident in cases of media concentration. Newly introduced communications laws and policies within Europe and the USA aim to reduce (ownership) regulation, promote competition and cope with the challenges posed by convergence. This quest is coupled in part with protections of media pluralism through custom-developed indices for measuring concentration in media markets and tests for assessing media plurality in merger cases. The paper describes and discusses such new methods and instruments as novel but imperfect attempts by policy makers to respond to the various challenges in communications such as value conflict, convergence, the need for empirical proof and claims for non-economic ways of assessing media diversity. It concludes by stressing the need to re-emphasize normative claims as essential guiding elements of communications policy making.

Abstract

Debates about media concentration and its adequate handling are not coming to an end. This paper stresses the dual character of media goods, the underlying ideological ideals, and the attendant institutional setting as source of value conflict in communications policy making. It discusses this value conflict and gives examples of where it surfaces and how it is confronted. It is particularly evident in cases of media concentration. Newly introduced communications laws and policies within Europe and the USA aim to reduce (ownership) regulation, promote competition and cope with the challenges posed by convergence. This quest is coupled in part with protections of media pluralism through custom-developed indices for measuring concentration in media markets and tests for assessing media plurality in merger cases. The paper describes and discusses such new methods and instruments as novel but imperfect attempts by policy makers to respond to the various challenges in communications such as value conflict, convergence, the need for empirical proof and claims for non-economic ways of assessing media diversity. It concludes by stressing the need to re-emphasize normative claims as essential guiding elements of communications policy making.

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27 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:January 2009
Deposited On:18 Mar 2009 11:36
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:49
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:0163-4437
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443708098248

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