Methodological optimisation of the MPM

The second MPM pilot-project is a follow-up to the MPM2014 project (the revision and test implementation of the 2009 Media Pluralism Monitor). MPM2014 focused specifically on news and current affairs, used streamlined procedures to collect data, and was implemented in a sample of nine EU Member States.

The first phase of the MPM2015 project was devoted to the fine-tuning of the indicators on the basis of the previous project. The overall aim was to enhance the potential of the indicators to provide valuable and comparable data on the risk of media pluralism in any given EU member state and beyond.

The fine-tuning exercise involved streamlining the overall structure of the MPM. The previous MPM tool had six risk domains and 34 macro-indicators, while the current one has been slimmed down to four risk domains (basic, ownership, inclusiveness and political) and 19 indicators, as illustrated in Table 1 and 2.

 

Table 1. Revised risk domains between: MPM2014 and MPM2015

MPM 2014 risk domains

Basic domain
Ownership domain
Political domain
Cultural domain
Geographic domain
Types and genres

MPM 2015 risk domains

Basic domain
Ownership domain
Political domain
Inclusiveness domain

 

The variables are still categorised as legal, socio-political, and economic for the sake of the forthcoming data analysis. The revision of the structure has made the MPM tool more accessible and user-friendly.

 

Table 2. The new MPM structure

Domain

Indicator

Basic
  • Protection of freedom of expression
  • Protection of right to information
  • Journalistic profession, standards and protection
  • Independence and effectiveness of national regulatory authority
Inclusiveness
  • Access to media of different social and cultural groups, and local communities
  • Availability of media platforms for community media
  • Access to media for the physically challenged people
  • Centralisation of the media system
  • Universal coverage of the PSM and the Internet
  • Media literacy
Ownership
  • Transparency of media ownership
  • Concentration of media ownership
  • Concentration of cross-media ownership
Political
  • Political bias in the media
  • Politicisation of control over media outlets
  • Politicisation of control over media distribution networks
  • State advertising
  • Independence of PSM governance and funding
  • Independence of news agencies

 

During the fine-tuning exercise, some of the indicators and variables were revised slightly, e.g. by changing their wording or by updating the recommended sources, while other indicators were substantially revised or eliminated, mainly due to measurement issues or lack of data. In particular, the digital indicators were modified. In the previous MPM, they focused on whether the national digital/ICT infrastructure was able to facilitate bottom-up forms of processing information, while the current MPM assesses the pluralistic dimension of digital environments.