Universität Zürich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
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Measuring media concentration and diversity: New approaches in Europe and the USA


Just, Natascha

In: Media, Culture & Society, 31(1), 97-117

Measuring media concentration has always been a difficult task and results were never satisfactory. The convergence of media, telecommunications and information technologies adds a new dimension to this problem as it results in changing market structures, exacerbating among other things the handling of cross-ownership and market definitions, and in claims for a greater emphasis on empirical evidence. Policy makers worldwide responded to this with new laws, and novel approaches for measuring concentration and diversity. This article discusses these approaches in the light of the value conflicts that lastingly shape communications policy. It describes how these value conflicts derive from the dual character of media goods, from ideological ideals and institutional settings. It discusses some manifestations of this conflict, new challenges that add to it, and its management. In consideration of these conflicts the article finally examines the novel instruments and assesses their usefulness for measuring market power, concentration and diversity in communications.