Indicators of risk to media pluralism 1 audience

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Indicators of Risk to Media Pluralism 1. Audience concentration 2. Ownership concentration 3. Regulatory safeguards against ownership concentration 4. Cross-media ownership concentration 5. Regulatory safeguards against cross-ownership concentration 6. Ownership transparency 7. Regulatory safeguards for ownership transparency 8. Political control over media outlets and distribution networks 9. Political control over media funding 10. Political control over news agencies The work of the OCCRP described earlier in this volume is another example of how civil society organizations can work across borders to illuminate the growing percentage of the media that is owned by politicians, organized crime figures, and
158 In the Service of Power: Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy people who hide their identities behind complex layers of corporate secrecy, using international banking havens. Finally, the International Panel on Social Progress is making a major effort to draw scholarly and political attention to the need to reform the media sector, with attention to the issues that emerge from media capture. This group of academic experts recently released for comment a major solutions-based chapter on media and communications as part of their massive research report, “Rethinking Society for the 21st Century.” The chapter outlines the daunting challenges in the media space, including control of media resources by the rich and powerful, and the deeply entrenched political issues that plague media and Internet governance. It highlights the problems created by media that are used to influence the public rather than to serve the public’s interests or afford access and rights to the poor and other marginalized populations. Its action plan calls for far-reaching changes in the media environment, particularly in expanding the use of “multistakeholder, transparent and open bodies” to set international and national media policies. “A renewed and more inclusive debate on media reform must be launched,” the report declares (International Panel on Social Progress 2016). Official intergovernmental organizations and policy bodies are drawing on this growing knowledge base to try to improve donor action and policy coordina- tion. The Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has in recent years added a media policy compo- nent to its discussions about how to improve overall governance in developing countries. Such policy dialogues are important because they help define priorities for funding among the 29 major donors who annually give about $132 billion in overseas development assistance. Including media as part of the governance agenda could lead to more funding for media policy reforms as part of donor-fi- nanced development plans.

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