1. What is MOM?

The “Media Ownership Monitor” (MOM) has been developed as a mapping tool in order to create a publicly available, continuously updated database that lists owners of all relevant mass media outlets (press, radio, television sectors and online media).

MOM aims to shed light on the risks to media pluralism caused by media ownership concentration (for more information: Methodology). In order to grasp the national characteristics and detect risk-enhancing or risk-reducing factors for media concentration, MOM also qualitatively assesses the market conditions and legal environment.

2. Who is behind MOM?

Since 2015, MOM has been incubated by Reporter ohne Grenzen e. V. – the German section of the international human rights organization Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), which aims to defend freedom of the press and the right to inform and be informed anywhere in the world.

In 2019, the project was spun-off to the Global Media Registry (GMR), an independent, non-for profit social enterprise registered under German law.

3. Why is Transparency of Media Ownership important?

Media pluralism is a key aspect of democratic societies as free, independent, and diverse media reflect divergent viewpoints and allow criticism of people in power. Risks to diversity of ideas are caused by media market concentration, when only a few players exert dominant influence on public opinion and raise entrance barriers for other players and perspectives (media ownership concentration). The biggest obstacle to fight it is lack of transparency of media ownership: How can people evaluate the reliability of information, if they don´t know who provides it? How can journalists work properly, if they don´t know who controls the company they work for? And how can media authorities address excessive media concentration, if they don´t know who is behind the media´s steering wheel?

MOM thus aims to create transparency and to answer the question “who eventually controls media content?” in order to raise public awareness, to create a fact base for advocacy to hold political and economic players accountable for the existing conditions.

4. What kind of Concentration Control does MOM suggest?

MOM doesn’t make normative statements – it doesn’t suggest how to control media ownership. Which form of media concentration control can work, depends on the country context, the existing legal and market conditions, the ownership landscape.

MOM provides a transparency tool to enforce a democratic discussion on that issue as well as good governance: decisions are likely to be of higher quality and to better reflect the needs and wishes of the people if they have access to adequate information and broad consultations, with views and opinions freely shared.

5. How is Data collected?

Preferably, official data sources, and/or sources with a high level of reliability and trust are used.

Whenever not publicly available, information was directly requested of media companies, political representatives and research institutes.

We used mainly data made available by

•       Media outlets/companies

•       Registre du Commerce

•       JORT (Official Journal)

•       l’institut national des statistiques

•       l’ONT (National Broadcasting Office)

•       l’instance nationale de télécommunication

•       HAICA (Independent Authority for Audio-Visual Communication)

•       Présidence du Gouvernement

•       Media Use in the Middle East 2015  by Northwestern University in Qatar

In order to guarantee and verify the objective evaluation and to take difficult decisions (for example on audience data), MOM worked with an advisory group. Other representatives and media experts shared their expertise to support research.

The Advisory Group included :

•       Yasmine Kacha, RSF Tunisia

•       Ons Ben Abdelkarim, Al Bawsala

•       JazemHalioui, Web Radar

•       Hamida El Bour, TAP

•       Larbi Chouikha, Professor

•       Inès Bel Aiba et Guillaume Klein, AFP

•       Ziad Dobban, SNJT

•       MouhebGaroui, IWatch Organisation

In addition to media representatives who have responded positively to the request for an interview, the following people shared their expertise:

·       Nouri Lajmi, Hichem Snoussi & Habib Belaid, HAICA

·       Elouaer Lamjed, National Broadcasting Office

·       Kamal Labidi, ex-President of INRIC

·       Dhafer Neji & Sonia Memmich, Présidence du Gouvernement

·       Abdelkrim Hizaoui, Professor IPSI

·       Hichem Guerfali, C3

·       Hana Cherif, MediaScan

·       AmenallahAyari, Ipsos

·       TaïebZahar, FTDJ

·       Saloua Ghazouani Oueslati, Article 19

·       MongiKhadhraoui, Journalist at Dar Anouar

·       Lamia El Kateb, Registre de Commerce

·       NejiBghouri, FahemBoukadous, SNJT

References are available on request from Al Khatt.

6. How is "most relevant Media" defined?

The main question is: which media outlets influence the opinion-forming process? In order to scan all relevant media, we included all traditional media types (Print, Radio, TV, Online). 

The media were selected according to the following criteria:

  • MOM focused on media with the highest reach, measured by audience share. At most 10 media outlets per media type (TV, radio, print, Online) were selected.
  • The news worthy and opinion content. The study focuses on general information with a national focus. As such, media with specific thematic focus (music, sport), social networks, search engines and advertisement were excluded.
  • Project by
    BIRN HUB
  •  
    Global Media Registry
  •  
    Funded by European Union