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Joining the dots

We explore the pan-European dynamics of...

State surveillance | Football, politics, society | The media | Independence movements|

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The diagnosis is not new: the European media is a shadow of its former self. Confronted with declining ad revenues and a shifting market, the press, TV, and radio have gone through closings, massive layoffs and a general feeling of lost relevance. Buyout after buyout, economic interests have preyed on the industry to create a more docile watchdog, while politicians happily watched the fourth power erode.

In short: the heyday of European media is gone. Does that mean it cannot reinvent itself? Across Europe, new types of journalism emerge: are citizen journalism and online publications the next big thing? And are these models strong enough to fulfil the essential role of the media in democratic societies?

The media in Europe is the first theme of Joining the dots, a new Can Europe make it? feature that connects national phenomena to unveil European trends.

The Dutch media monopoly kills journalism in the Netherlands: internet doesn’t help

Politics has marginalized the people with the crucial support of the media.

Spain: national television, government tool?

The Spanish government's  determination to manipulate public television and treat viewers as idiots is backfiring. Liz Cooper reports on the response of the private sector, backed by social networks and free press

Romanian media in crisis

Romanian media is in a sad state, with newspapers losing stamina by the day and television channels shamelessly blasting the political messages favored by their owners. Independent journalism still exists, but can it reach beyond the more educated and resourceful?

Politics, punditry, and the foreign gaze: the crisis in Portugal and the media

Porous boundaries between politicians and pundits, rigid austerity and a zealous attempt to please foreign observers can only have a destructive effect on Portuguese society.

The sorry state of the Irish media

The story of free speech in Ireland today has moved on considerably from the past, but the political class believes that they can decide just how the public conversation should be conducted.

Media freedom in Turkey: just how bad is it?

Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country, and ranks low on indices of press freedom. Just how bad is the situation, and how can it be ameliorated?

Corruption, fear and silence: the state of Greek media today

Independent journalism is up against a system that knows that it is in mortal danger from disclosure and will do anything it needs to survive.

Intimate fusion: media and political power in Silvio Berlusconi's Italy

The common view that Berlusconi's omnipresence in Italy's political life was facilitated by his control of the media is only partially true. Relations between Italian media and politics have, in fact, a much more complicated history tracing back to decades before the Cavaliere's reign.

Discouraging developments in the German news media market

The German print media is going through a rough phase, with many newspapers closing and journalists laid off as a result of declining revenus. This structural crisis is having a negative effect on the quality of public debate on essential issues, such as the EU.

Making sense of Italy’s Second Republic: when politics become a soap opera

Over the last decades, the Italian media has become a scene for the soap opera of Italian politics. Will Beppe Grillo's recent electoral successes, partly due to his heavy use of social media, put paid to the media-politics status quo in Italy?

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

The BBC, creativity and the digital age: Brian Eno, Kamila Shamsie, Bill Thompson and Tony Ageh discuss

Novelist Kamila Shamsie and musician Brian Eno discuss the Corporation and creativity with the two men leading the BBC's internet revolution, Bill Thompson and Tony Ageh. 

After Murdoch

A potentially awesome shift in the UK’s power structure is taking place if the role and influence of Murdoch’s newspapers is really undermined. This is because the mess that Jeremy Hunt wishes to see sorted out is the very fusion of politicians, journalists and media owners that govern us - the political class.

The Murdochs are not fit and proper people

It's a "truly dreadful situation" declares the UK's Prime Minister on learning of the latest revelation of the outrageous lawlessness of the Murdoch empire. The response should go further than criticism of journalists and editors, it is the proprietors, Murdoch senior and son, who should be held to account and removed from any say in the Britain media. Those inside the loop should not be outside the law.

News of the Financial Sector: reporting on the City or to it?

Why did the news media give so little warning of the 2007-8 financial crash? Because financial journalism has been ‘captured’ by those it is meant to hold to account

Hungary: a draconian media law

New restrictions on Hungarian media threaten to undermine freedom of expression, the lifeblood of democracy. Fears abound that the legislative clampdown marks an acceleration in Orbán’s slide towards authoritarianism.

Azerbaijan: rights situation no cause for celebration

It has been ten years since Azerbaijan became a member of the Council of Europe, but no one is in the mood for a party. The country’s media remains shackled, dubious laws continue to be used punitively, and political opponents are still sent to prison. The Council needs to take its membership criteria more seriously, suggests Giorgi Gogia.

Hungary's new media law shows contempt for democracy, the separation of powers and core European ideals

The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, is no believer in democracy. “The republic,” he said in 2006, “is merely a cloak for the nation.” See what this implies for media law. How should Europe react?

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