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Who Owns the Media? Capital, Governance and Independence
- Julia CAGE (Assistant Professor, Economic Department, Sciences Po)
- Olivier GODECHOT (CNRS Research Dircetor at the OSC-Sciences Po, Co-Director of MaxPo)
- Rodney BENSON (Associate Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University)
- Etienne FIZE (Phd. Fellow at Economics Department, Sciences Po)
This project obtained funding from LIEPP through the 2016 call for proposals.
The main objective of this research project – which will focus on the entire media universe (press, television, radio pure internet players) of developed countries – is to examine media governance and ownership structures of these countries. We aim at determining the structure of media ownership and will investigate who owns the capital of the media on the one hand and who holds control and voting rights on the other hand.
Capital and governance are the two crucial dimensions for media independence and particularly for its journalists. As a matter of fact, journalists' independence would not be the same if they had to work for a media, in which shareholders obtain most of their revenues from their activity in the media sector, or for instance, if their main activity is for example arm selling business. The question of the governance is as important as the capital one, since voting rights and capital do not systematically coincide.
This database will allow us to study to what extent the various structures of capital and governance affect the information produced by the media and the turnout at elections; as well as to evaluate the efficiency of different media regulations (in particular regarding its concentration).
An institutional partnership has been undertaken between LIEPP and Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières/RSF) to implement this project. RSF has co-financed the first stages of this research and engaged in promoting its visibility and in assisting the launch of the special internet website for the project.