Preserving Pluralism in a Rapidly Changing Media Market

The newspaper and news media publishing sector is one of the main sources of cultural diversity and pluralism in Europe. The editorial content of newspapers covers a wide diversity of topics and every political perspective. Newspapers on all platforms encourage and enable their readers to participate actively in democratic debate through blogs, opinion fora and other new tools which increase the level of democratic participation, diversity and pluralism in the European media landscape.

Members States play an essential role in assessing media diversity because they are best placed to assess adequately the market situation at national, regional and local level. For the newspapers to fulfill their vital function of providing a trusted source of news, views and analysis, a number of key points should be taken into consideration:

Member States have sole competence for preserving media pluralism. The European Union does not have the competence to regulate media diversity, other than through the provisions on competition law.

Pluralism crucially depends on upholding freedom of the press. State interference and misguided legislative proposals can seriously undermine freedom of the press and editorial independence.

Self-regulation and press councils are aimed at preserving media freedom and pluralism and at the same time promoting the truthfulness of information. Professional standards and ethical rules also ensure that journalists respect certain limits whilst providing for freedom of investigation and reporting.

Pluralism is a multi-dimensional concept and is not limited to the question of media concentration or media ownership. It also includes other elements like press freedom, cultural diversity, freedom to work on numerous media platforms and editorial independence.

Many newspapers have benefited from being part of a larger media group that has allowed them to be more resistant to the financial crisis and the downturn in advertising revenues.

There are many efficient ways to support pluralism in the current media market such as removing bans and restrictions on advertising, protecting and enforcing copyright as well as extending the current VAT rates that apply to printed newspapers also to the digital newspapers.

In a highly competitive and changing media environment, publishers have established and continue to develop new business models, including paid-for-offers, with the aim of ensuring that professional newspaper content is accessible on all platforms. The success of such innovations depends on achieving fair and balanced between publishers and the technological platforms domination the online market.

For further information contact:

ENPA Office, tel: +32 (0) 2 551 01 90


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.

The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 14 national associations across 14 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.