media lab | Podcast Season: 2 - Episode: 5 / Release date: 14-2-2023

1:1 with Oliver Money-Kyrle
International Press Institute

Key Quotes

"The abuse of state advertising (...) undoubtedly spreads much further [than Central Europe] as a temptation to misuse state funds to reward friends or friendly coverage can be irresistible."
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"It's extremely important that [abuse of state advertising] is being addressed in Article 24 of the EMFA (...): this is very welcome, but there are significant weaknesses."
2 / 12
"The [EMFA] loophole that exempts local governments with populations of under 1 million from transparency obligations needs to be closed."
3 / 12
"Local governments in many countries have a stranglehold on local media, and state advertising is the noose held around their necks."
4 / 12
"National governments seeking to get around the [EMFA] transparency obligations may simply redirect funds through local governments to avoid accountability."
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"The EMFA does not define who should develop the criteria for [state advertising] distribution. (...) Where regulators have already been captured, they're unlikely to establish robust criteria."
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"We propose that the new European Board for Media Services develops model criteria [for state advertising distribution] (...) and that the regulators be obliged to consult with local media stakeholders on (...) national criteria."
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"Article 24 [EMFA] should be expanded to cover all forms of state support for media, including media subsidies. (...) The European Board should develop best practice models for Member States to apply."
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"The EMFA needs to be expanded to address the back door financing of media owners. One of the unwritten rules for assembling an inner circle of oligarchs to do the government's bidding is that those oligarchs enrich themselves in the process."
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"The EMFA (...) must ensure transparency of all financial relations between the state and media [and] ensure fair distribution of state advertising funds and media subsidies."
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"The EMFA (...) must tackle the indirect state financing of media owners through sister companies in other industries."
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"Barring companies which own media over a certain size from participating in public tenders (...) outside of the media: at a stroke, it would (...) tip the balance back in favour of independent journalism."
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About Our Guest

Oliver Money-Kyrle | Head of Europe Advocacy and Programmes - International Press Institute
Oliver Money-Kyrle joined IPI, the International Press Institute, in September 2019 first as Turkey campaign coordinator and then as Head of Europe Advocacy and Programmes. He leads IPI’s advocacy around EU legislation including the Rule of Law mechanism, the safety of journalists’ recommendations, the Anti-Slapp directive and now the European Media Freedom Act. He has been specifically focused on the question of media capture, faced by IPI’s members in central and Eastern Europe. Oliver has over two decades of experience in the press freedom and media development field, having previously worked as Director of programmes at the International Federation of Journalists.