WHO REALLY OWNS THE MEDIA?

IN ONLY 9 OUT OF 20 COUNTRIES CAN THE PUBLIC FIND OUT WHO THE
REAL OWNERS OF THE BROADCAST MEDIA ARE

YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!

  • In only 9 of the 20 countries can the public find out who the actual owners of the broadcast media are from reporting to media regulators or to company registers.
  • Disclosure to media regulators of beneficial (ultimate) owners of media outlets is not currently required in most of the countries.
  • There is no unified or standard approach to collecting or requiring disclosure to the public of media ownership data, particularly with regard to print and online media.

Why do we want this information?

The public availability of accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date data on media ownership is an essential component of a democratic media system. It is impossible to take steps to address excessive media concentrations and conflicts of interest without the tools to identify the owners. The public knowledge of owners’ identities helps to ensure that abuses of media power can be assessed, publicised, openly debated and – even – prevented. Both media regulators and the general public must have access to information about who owns – and influences – media outlets.

Do you still have questions about why we need to know who owns the media? Check out our FAQs!

THE TEN RECOMMENDATIONS ON
TRANSPARENCY OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP

        1.   Disclosure of essential basic information

        2.   Information is findable and free

        3.   Information is regularly updated

        4.   Data is reusable and in open formats

        5.   Progressive increase in transparency

        6.   Transparency of influence

        7.   Clear and precise legal framework

        8.   Oversight by an independent body

        9.   Direct disclosure to the public

        10. Transnational access and comparability

Download the Recommendations in full (.pdf), and scroll down for the country-by-country analysis

WHO ELSE THINKS TRANSPARENCY OF THE MEDIA
IS IMPORTANT?

Find out more – read our FAQs, dive into our research, or check out the updates. Why not take a look at our interviews with academics, journalists, activists, and media outlets. Watch all interviews here!

Media transparency is important for those who are consuming media. If I’m reading a newspaper, or watching television, I would like to know who is providing me with this information.
Alison Harcourt, Associate Professor at University of Exeter

Media products can affect and influence the way people think, what decisions people take, and so knowing who is behind the media, or a media enterprise, is key to a transparent society.
Florian Skrabal, Founder of dossier.at
Every media transports some kind of opinión, some kind of mindset, and since media are so strongly involved in the creation of mindsets, in the influence of what people think, it’s important to know who are the people that tell you what to think.
Florian Philapitsch, Vice Chairman of KommAustria

I can’t think of any reason at all why the public or society at large should not know who owns any media organisation.
Gavin Sheridan, Investigative Journalist and FOI Expert
The civil society has the right to know who is speaking to them.
Alexander Kashumov, Head of the Legal Team; Access to Information Programme, Sofia, Bulgaria

The media scene has changed globally, everywhere, and you have a situation where there’s so many ways of sophisticated pressures.
Ana Petruseva, Managing Editor, Balkan Insight, BIRN Country Director Macedonia

Country-by-Country Research and Analysis

Contact us if you are interested in researching the transparency of media ownership in your country.

austria

Austria

azerbaijan

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