Media outlets and their moguls: why concentrated individual or family ownership is bad for editorial independence

Chris Hanretty

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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This article investigates the levels of owner influence in 211 different print and broadcast outlets in 32 different European media markets. Drawing on the literature from industrial organisation, it sets out reasons why we should expect greater levels of influence where ownership of individual outlets is concentrated; where it is concentrated in the hands of individuals or families; and where ownership groups own multiple outlets in the same media market. Conversely, we should expect lower levels of influence where ownership is dispersed between transnational companies. The articles uses original data on the ownership structures of these outlets, and combines it with reliable expert judgments as to the level of owner influence in each of the outlets. These hypotheses are tested and confirmed in a multilevel regression model of owner influence. The findings are relevant for policy on ownership limits in the media, and for the debate over transnational versus local control of media.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-350
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number3
Early online date27 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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