Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich

IPMZ - Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

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CH-8050 Zurich
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  • Media, Culture & Society published an article by Natascha Just. The article describes and discusses new methods and instruments for measuring media concentration.

     

    Just, Natascha (2009): Measuring media concentration and diversity: New approaches in Europe and the USA. In: Media, Culture & Society, 31(1), 97-117

     

    Abstract: Debates on media concentration and the appropriate way to handle it are not coming to an end. This article stresses the dual character of media goods, the underlying ideological ideals, and the attendant institutional setting as sources 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 US 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 article describes and discusses these 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. Keywords: communications policy, Europe, measurement, media concentration, value conflict, US