Who Owns the Media? Analysis of the Ownership Structure of the Media

LIEPP published its reports
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LIEPP published its report "Who Owns the Media?":

the ownership structure of the media is very complex and not transparent


This research, coordinated by Julia Cagé, is carried out as part of a partnership between Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Who owns the media? It is extraordinary difficult to answer this simple question. When it comes to ownership regulation in France, the introduction of constraining rules goes back up to the Conseil National de la Résistance and a 1944 order (ordonance du 26 août 1944). It was made compulsory to publish in each edition the name of the owners, along with their profession. However, these provisions never came to fruition. It is more important than ever to improve our understanding of the ownership structure of general information media outlets.

This project contributes to the quest for media ownership transparency by construing datasets on the structure of media ownership in France and in Spain.

We show that in both countries, the ownership structure of the media is very complex and not transparent. Moreover, when we focus on private owners, we find an over-representation of the “financial and insurance services” sector (51%), particularly striking if we compare it to the “information and communication” sector whose capital share is much lower (18%). In addition to expanding this research to other countries, the next step will be to measure the impact of ownership structure on media coverage.

Research team

Coordinators : Julia Cagé (Assistant Professor of Economics at Sciences Po, research affiliate at LIEPP) and Olivier Godechot (CNRS Researcher Fellow at OSC Sciences Po). Contributors : Etienne Fize, Maria Camila Porras Rivera, Charlotte Coutand.


Policy Brief

Final report (English version) 


Juliette Seban, Secrétaire générale du LIEPP : juliette.seban@sciencespo.fr ;

Julia Cagé, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics at Sciences Po, julia.cage@sciencespo.fr