Thursday

29th Jun 2017

EU ignores journalists in future-of-media brainstorm

  • Journalists were not invited to discuss their own future (Photo: DRB62)

The European Commission on Wednesday (7 December) held its first in a round of consultation meetings about the future of the European media industry. But despite requests from journalists to join the discussion, they were kept out.

The first of an expected five meetings of the so-called EU Media Futures Forum brought together in Brussels some 16 media experts, mostly from private companies, including Belgian newspaper publisher De Persgroep and American entertainment company Walt Disney, to address "the impacts of the digital revolution on European media industries."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The aim of the round of meetings is "to provide input to foster a pluralist media sector and quality journalism in spite of recent declining revenues."

Newspapers in particular are having a hard time, with advertising revenues drying up since the advent of the internet.

"The digital revolution is turning media upside down," said EU digital affairs commissioner Neelie Kroes in a statement. “I want out-of-the box thinking.”

Members of the forum include publishers, executives, academics and politicians. There is one "editor-in-chief", Oscar Bronner of Austrian Der Standard, the newspaper’s publisher and CEO. Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the Council of Ministers have a standing invitation to participate.

But contrary to what the press invitation suggests, the headline of which reads - "Kroes and journos debating media's digital future today" - no journalists were invited.

The European journalists trade union has reacted with frustration. "We are very disappointed," Renate Schroeder, co-director of the European Federation of Journalists, told EUobserver.

"The composition of the group is very business-minded. Even Disney is invited," she noted.

The commission, for its part, maintains that there is no problem with the lack of journalists among the members of the forum.

"It is not just about journalism, it is about media in general," explained Ryan Heath, spokesperson for commissioner Kroes. "We feel there is a good mix of people."

Opinion

Europe to make media, media to make Europe

Europe is a machine that makes peace, not war. But one part of its peace arsenal should be independent, transnational media and foreign language broadcasts.

EU mulls post-Brexit budget options

EU seeks novel ways to plug a Brexit-based budget hole of up to €11 billion, but income from fines, such as the one on Google, cannot be relied on.

EU approves rescue of Italian banks

The European Commission gave the green light to a €17-billion plan by the Italian government to save Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

Row between EU ministers halts e-book tax rate

A bill to reduce VAT rates on e-books and e-publications has become the latest victim of a row between the Czech Republic and its partners over its own plan to collect VAT.

Focus

EU and China move to fill US void

At a summit in Brussels, EU and Chinese leaders will attempt to deepen ties on trade and climate as US president Trump plans to pull out of the Paris climate deal.

News in Brief

  1. Schulz calls for ban of Erdogan rally
  2. Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with Macron in Paris
  3. EU extended Russia sanctions until 2018
  4. Netherlands partially liable for Srebrenica massacre, court rules
  5. Cyprus reunification talks resume in Switzerland
  6. Cyberattack cripples Europe, spreads worldwide
  7. Scotland puts second referendum on hold
  8. EU commission fines Google €2.4 bn

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. World VisionEU, Young Leaders and Civil Society Join Forces to End Violence Against Girls
  2. EU2017EEGet the Latest News from the 2017 Estonian EU Council Presidency @EU2017EE
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Talks Should Insist on Ending Reprisals Against Critical Voices
  4. European Free AllianceEFA Is Looking for a New Intern
  5. Malta EU 2017Conservation of Atlantic Tunas: International Measures Become EU Law
  6. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan Statin Therapy Interfere With a Physically Active Lifestyle?
  7. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  8. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  9. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  10. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  11. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  12. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!