MEDIADEM organised a panel entitled ‘The politics of media policy in Europe’ under section ‘Communication Law and Policy’ at ECREA’s 4th European Communication Conference (24-27 October 2012) in Istanbul, Turkey.  The aim of the panel was to offer a critical overview of the dynamics of media policy-making in selected MEDIADEM countries (Belgium, Greece, Italy and Spain). The panel was chaired by Evangelia Psychogiopoulou, Research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy.

The panel involved the presentation of four papers authored by MEDIADEM researchers. The first presentation was that of Bart van Besien, Researcher at the Centre Perelman for Legal Philosophy of Université Libre de Bruxelles, entitled ‘Media policy for the written press in Belgium: Will governments, parliaments and courts be the ones to save the press?’ (paper co-authored with Pierre-François Docquir). Mr. van Besien discussed the ways in which the editors of the written press in Belgium are trying to cope with financial challenges due to the digitization of the media and the advent of the Internet, stressing, among others, the importance of litigation before domestic courts in this respect.  Anna Kandyla, Research assistant at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, presented a paper (co-authored with Evangelia Psychogiopoulou) ‘Audiovisual policy dynamics in Greece: Lessons from digital terrestrial television and the restructuring of public service media’. Ms Kandyla’s presentation provided a critical overview of the institutional dynamics and policy discourse concerning the digital switchover and the re-organisation of public service broadcasting in the country. The presentation of Dr. Federica Casarosa, Research assistant at the European University Institute, Department of Law, entitled ‘Media policy-making in Italy or when all good premises can be defied: The case of the Gasparri Law’, dealt with the principles guiding the reform process of competition and media ownership law in Italy. The final presentation was that of Juan Luis Manfredi Sánchez, Senior Lecturer at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, who talked about the ‘Remaining challenges for public service television in Spain: The misrule of the reform’. Dr. Manfredi Sánchez addressed the main challenges facing Spanish public service television: the consolidation of the legal framework ensuring the stability of the governance of the public broadcasting system; and the establishment of an appropriate funding model and remit.

The panel’s presentations were followed by lively discussion on the impact of politics on the formulation of media policy, and the policy strategies presently deployed in order to face the challenges stemming from technological developments and the Internet in the various countries under examination.

For more information on the papers presented you may contact their authors.