During 2014, the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) carried out a pilot-test implementation of an updated and streamlined version of the Media Pluralism Monitor (MPM) developed in 2009 by a consortium led by the University of Leuven.

The implementation was conducted in nine EU Member States: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy and the UK. Based on scientific and neutral criteria, the CMPF has designed the new version of the MPM (MPM2014) by substantially reducing the number of legal, economic and socio-political indicators that were included in the old MPM, developing methodological strategies in order to improve the data collection’s feasibility across the EU Member States.

The MPM2014 has been constructed as a substantially streamlined version of the MPM2009, but with an effort to maintain its holistic character and to reflect the growing importance of the internet. The MPM2014 is explicitly focused on news and current affairs aspects of the media due to their key importance for the civic and political awareness of citizens and for the democratic processes.

“This first test application was important to set the new scope of application of the analysis, to test the comparability of data and to have a first analysis of the risks for media pluralism in the countries. This is the first essential step to further develop the monitoring on the rest of EU CountriesPier Luigi Parcu, CMPF Director said.

The application of the MPM2014 demonstrates, in fact, that there are various risks for media pluralism across the selected countries and every country has a specific weakness that creates high scores, meaning high risk. Due to the yet unfinished design of the MPM, in these cases a further investigation is needed to understand whether the high score means a clear and present danger for media pluralism, or whether it is a false positive.

From a methodological point of view, the pilot test implementation of the MPM is highly successful. Based on this, the CMPF will further fine-tune the tool according to the outcomes of the test-implementation, to enhance the usability and the validity of the monitoring exercise and to limiting results that can be read as false positives. This further enhanced and fine-tuned instrument will be applied in the 19 EU Member States that were not included in this first experimental implementation.

In 2015 the CMPF is going to implement a “fine-tuned” version of the MPM2014 to the remaining 19 EU countries thanks to a new grant of the European Union.

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More info from the European Commission website: