What Can Be Done? Digital Media Policy Options for Strengthening European Democracy


In this report, we identify some policy options available for the European Commission and for European Union member states should they wish to create a more enabling environment for independent professional journalism going forward. We argue that, to thrive, independent, professional journalism needs freedom, funding, and a future. To enable this, media policy needs (a) to protect journalists and media from threats to their independence and to freedom of expression, (b) to provide a level playing field and support for a sustainable business of news, and © to be oriented towards the digital, mobile, and platform-dominated future that people are demonstrably embracing – not towards defending the broadcast and print-dominated past. Many of these options, we believe, would be relevant far beyond Europe and demonstrate what democratic digital media policies could look like. Together, these policies would represent the outline of a more holistic approach to creating an environment where independent professional journalism can succeed.

Oxford, UK: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism