Belgrade/Madrid, 7 November 2013 – Access Info Europe and the Open Society Media Program today launched Ten Recommendations for Transparency of Media Ownership in a presentation to the 47 governments of the Council of Europe meeting in Belgrade, Serbia.
Presenting the recommendations, Mark Thompson of the Open Society Media Program called for the Council of Europe to take a lead in creating a regulatory framework for ensuring that citizens can know who really owns the media.
“Public knowledge of owners’ identities helps to ensure that abuses of media power can be assessed, publicised, openly debated and even prevented.”
Research released by Access Info Europe and the Open Society has shown that in most countries it is impossible to know who is really behind and who funds the media: in 19 European countries surveyed the public is able to discover who the actual owners of the broadcast media in fewer than six, or under one third.
Thompson added that without information “excessive media concentrations cannot be addressed” and called for action by the Council of Europe to build on earlier commitments to transparency in this area.
The recommendations include details on the exact information which media owners should make available, including data on beneficial owners and on sources of revenue.