On Wednesday 27 June the New Media Forum will be held in the Plenary Chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels. The event website is clear that this will definitely not be “yet another conference on the media”. It aims to offer “a unique forum to discuss opportunities and risks for media pluralism resulting from new media”, and share recent developments in the field, pulling together different strands of discussions that are currently taking place at EU level.
Just some of the questions to be addressed are the following:
- Does the new media contribute to, or undermine, a pluralistic public sphere?
- Do new technologies overcome bottlenecks related to traditional media or do they create new information gatekeepers?
- Should existing media ownership regulations for traditional media be relaxed, or extended to new media?
- How have industries, such as music, books and film, faced the challenges presented by the new media?
- Is there a need for diversity obligations on online on-demand media and can they be imposed?
- Should the EU take an initiative in ownership regulation in this era of globalization?
- How do we assess the role of publicly funded media, specifically public service broadcasters (PSBs), but also, where relevant, subsidised press and online operations?
Community Media will be represented in these discussions, in the form of Pieter de Wit, President of the Community Media Forum Europe (CMFE) and Francesco Diasio, Regional Coordinator of AMARC Europe. We will be looking forward to their feedback as well as the Forum’s final report, and hopefully to contribute to follow-up discussions.