Community Media in EU Communication Policies

Núria Reguero Jiménez, Julián Navarro
2009 Observatorio (OBS*) Journal   unpublished
Community Media in the European Union is a thriving, diverse sector that goes some way to meeting the main regional policy objectives for communication and culture: the promotion of media diversity and active citizenship, or the endorsement of freedom of expression and access to information. Although there are no specific regulations governing Community Media, interest among EU institutions is increasing, as shown by the study The State of Community Media in the European Union (2007),
more » ... n (2007), commissioned by the European Parliament. This study defines Community Media as non-profit organisations owned by or accountable to the community they serve, and it emphasises the importance of the sector's legal recognition-especially in the context of the transition towards digital broadcasting-to enable them to fulfil their societal contribution. This article examines EU communication policies directly or indirectly touching on Community Media. The analysis is based on European communication policy guidelines (the regulatory framework, the support mechanisms at European level to complement national systems, the MEDIA programme, the distribution of audiovisual content on electronic networks and media pluralism, and external measures protecting European cultural interests) and is supplemented by information obtained through direct contact with European Commission and European Parliament members.