International Media Concentration

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Media Concentration Around the World: Empirical Studies

Interim Reports by the global research project on international media concentration and ownership

March 11 and 12, 2010
Columbia University
View photos from the event

You are invited to what may be a unique event in the research of international media. This conference is the first meeting of 19 country teams from around the world, and their first public reports.

Media concentration and ownership have major implications for politics, business, culture, regulation, and innovation. It is also a highly contentious subject of public debates around the world. In this debate, one side fears the emergence of media empires with their negative impacts. The other side believes the Internet has opened media to unprecedented diversity and fears the heavy-handed intervention by government. Strong opinions and policy advocacies predominate, yet their fact-base is weak and anecdotal.

Such research for the United States was recently published in a new book, Media Ownership and Concentration in America, by Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) Director Prof. Eli Noam. CITI has now joined with other scholars to expand the scope of this research to the world's media.

The issue of media concentration is global. In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi`s companies dominate Italian politics. In Germany, Springer and Bertelsmann hold major market shares across media. In Mexico, Televisa. In France, Vivendi. In the UK and Australia, Murdoch (News Ltd). In Sweden, Bonnier. In Ireland, O'Reilly. In Canada, CTV Globe Media, CanWest Global, and Rogers. Even in tiny Iceland, the regulation of media concentration led to that country`s first and only public referendum.

As a result of these recent global developments, a group of researchers from now 28 countries around the world have already joined the International Media Concentration (IMC) Project and have begun the early stages of research.

This community of international scholars and the common methodology are managed by a scientific committee composed of three project leader groups for three geographical regions.

This group`s goal is to go beyond the rhetoric and provide a dispassionate and data-driven analysis of trends and their drivers for their respective countries. We have no agenda beyond understanding what is happening and why, and no preconceived notion as to the results. The international dimension is particularly crucial in order to understand the differences in media concentration across countries, because in every country there are special circumstances that may obscure the broader trends. This project will determine the potential reasons behind these differences, and isolate common trends. It will also create a database useful for other applications.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

9 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks & overview by members of the Scientific Committee

  • Eli Noam, Columbia University
  • Patrick Badillo, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille
  • Kiyoshi Nakamura, Waseda University
  • Marius Dragomir, Open Society Foundation

9:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. Panel: Media Concentration and the Role of Academia

Chair: Eli Noam, Columbia University, with Presentation of Overarching Results

  • Ben Compaine, Northeastern University
  • Marius Dragomir, Open Society Foundation
  • Phil Napoli, Fordham University
  • Ron Rice, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Adam Thierer, Progress and Freedom Foundation
  • Tim Wu, Columbia University

11 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Coffee break

11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Presentations for Europe (I): France, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Spain, Germany |

Chair: Patrick Badillo, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille

  • France: Jean-Baptiste Lesourd and Patrick Badillo, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille; Dominique Bourgeois, University of Fribourg
  • Scandinavia (Sweden & Finland: Robert Picard, Jönköping International Business School
  • Russia: Elena Vartanova, Moscow State University
  • Spain: Alfonso Sánchez Tabernero, University of Navarra; Juan Pablo Artero, University of Navarra
  • Germany: Julia Bösch and Philipp Rösch-Schlanderer, Center for Digital Technology and Management, Technical University Munich and University of Munich


12:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Lunch: How Policy Makers Deal with Media Ownership
Welcome: Dean Glenn Hubbard, Columbia Business School
Luncheon speaker: Reed Hundt, former chairman, Federal Communications Commission; Consultant, Skadden, Arps |

2:15 p.m. - 3:55 p.m. Presentations for Asia: Japan, China, India, Korea, Tawian |

Chair: Kiyoshi Nakamura, Waseda University

  • Japan: Hajime Yamada, Toyo University; Kiyoshi Nakamura, Waseda University
  • China: Min Hang, Tsinghua University
  • India: Anuradha Bhattacharjee, Mudra Institute of Communications
  • Korea: Kiyoshi Nakamura, Waseda University (in behalf of Daeho Kim, Inha University
  • Taiwan: Yu-li Liu, National Chengchi University

3:55 p.m. - 4:10 p.m Coffee break

4:10 p.m. - 5:40 p.m. Presentations for Europe (II): Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Italy

  • Switzerland: Dominique Bourgeois, University of Fribourg
  • Netherlands: Piet Bakker, University of Amsterdam
  • Belgium: Jo Groebel, German Digital Institute
  • Portugal: Paulo Faustino, Porto University
  • Italy: Marta Cola, University of Lugano

5:25 p.m. - 6:25 p.m. Presentations for Australia & Americas: Australia, Brazil, United States

Chair: Robert Atkinson, Columbia University

  • Australia: Franco Papendrea, University of Canberra
  • Brazil: Sonia Moreira, Rio de Janeiro State University
  • United States: Eli Noam, Columbia University

6:25 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Group-wide discussion of the Implications of the First Day's Reports fro Media and Media Policy

Friday, March 12, 2010
Location: Uris Hall Room 142

9 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Opening remarks & overview by members of the Scientific Committee

  • Jean-Baptiste Lesourd, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille
  • Dominique Bourgeois, University of Fribourg

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Panel: Improving the Quality of Public Policy Analysis of Media Ownership

Chair: Richard Taylor, Penn State University

  • Jonathan Knee, Columbia University
  • Horst Stipp, NBC Universal
  • Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America


10:15 a.m. & - 10:30 a.m. Coffee break

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Presentations for Middle East & Africa: Israel, Magreb, South Africa

Chair: Jean-Baptiste Lesourd, Université de la Méditerranée Aix-Marseille

  • Israel: Amit Schejter, Penn State University; Moran Yemini, University of Haifa
  • Magreb: Ahmed Hidass, University of Rabat
  • South Africa: Petrus Potgieter, University of South Africa

11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m. Summary of reports from countries not physically present: Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, UK, Poland

Speaker: Helmut Müller, University of Munich

11:50 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Roundtable on Interpretation and Methodology.

Team members discuss with each other and the audience:

  • What have we learned?
  • What are the overarching themes?
  • What are the policy implications?
  • What is next with the project?
  • How do we disseminate results?
  • How do we generate a multiplier?
  • How do we reach policy makers?
  • Which countries/researchers do we add?

Moderator: Eli Noam, Columbia University

1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Lunch

Guest Speaker: Gerald Levin, former CEO, AOL Time Warner: "Media Merger Mania" Moderator: Raul Katz, Columbia University