media lab | Podcast Season: 2 - Episode: 8 / Release date: 14-3-2023

1:1 with Eva Simon

Key Quotes

"Media ownership transparency is key to informing the public about possible political or economic interference."
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"Transparency helps regulators to prevent media ownership concentration, which can have an undue influence over democratic discussions and the outcome of elections."
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"Lack of media ownership transparency is a problem in many EU countries."
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"The EMFA should be strengthened by including binding rules on media transparency to ensure that verifiable information about beneficial ownership is fully and easily accessible."
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"The EMFA unfortunately is silent about the collection of data sets, the sustainability and the financial background of such a media ownership database."
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"The EMFA should require the creation of an EU-level database that is accurate, updated in near real time and accessible to the general public."
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"Ownership databases have allowed journalists and also members of the public to identify owners of shell companies, among others, former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (...) in the Pandora Papers investigation."
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"Fix the problem that there are no EU-wide binding rules on media ownership transparency. With this extra obstacle created by the CJEU ruling, we need an EU level database of media ownership."
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"In many cases, when a journalist conducts an investigation on certain issues, they want to remain anonymous. Our approach: ensure that the general public has access to ownership databases."
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"Media ownership: general access to information is an overriding public interest."
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"There is an opportunity for EU legislators to ensure that public interest prevails in the field of media ownership: (...) they must take the necessary bold steps to require general access to an EU level media ownership database."
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About Our Guest

Eva Simon | Senior Advocacy Officer - Liberties
Eva Simon is a senior advocacy officer at the Civil Liberties Union for Europe (Liberties). Liberties is a Berlin-based EU watchdog organisation. Eva works on issues related to the field of freedom of expression and data protection. She is a human rights lawyer with a special focus on digital rights. Besides her EU-level advocacy work, Eva works on strategic litigation across EU member states. She has been active in human rights work for more than fifteen years. Prior to joining the NGO world, Eva worked as a media lawyer and a researcher. She was a research fellow at the Central European University (2006), at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York, USA (2005) and at the Technical University of Budapest, Hungary (2001-2005). She has authored expert studies, book chapters and articles on privacy and media freedom.