Dear friend of the media and of Europe’s MediaLab,
We are thrilled to bring you exciting news regarding the media landscape in Europe. In an era of rapid technology and consumption changes, consolidation in the media sector has become a necessity to ensure sustainable growth and quality journalism. EURACTIV, our sister media organisation and leading European news outlet, is joining the Mediahuis Group.
As pointed out in our op-ed, consolidation in the media sector offers numerous benefits, including economies of scale and the ability to invest in innovative digital and marketing solutions. It allows media organisations to tackle the challenges posed by digital disruption, combat the spread of misinformation, and foster sustainable business models.
This partnership aligns perfectly with the mission of Europe’s MediaLab, which strives to promote innovation, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing among media professionals across the continent.
What impact for this think-and-do tank? Even more autonomy, more ambition and more resources. Building on our Stars4Media successes (helping 100 media so far), we are also surveying about our future priorities, and recruiting an additional innovation leader.
This is your MediaLab: do share your ideas with us!
According to the Press Gazette, a leading source of news from the journalism industry, the EURACTIV-Mediahuis deal is strategic. The Belgian publishing group will strengthen its presence in the digital news sector and enhance its coverage of EU affairs.
Even EURACTIV’s main competitor, POLITICO – which was acquired by Axel Springer two years ago – recognised the benefits of this acquisition for media competition: ‘‘The more the merrier!’’
According to De Tijd, Mediahuis is a group with strong shoulders for technological development and visibility, which should allow EURACTIV’s brand to ‘develop its full potential’. The same opinion is shared by its founder: “At a time when the EU is preparing its Media Freedom Act, the 2024 elections, and the threat of disinformation is growing, consolidation of the sector is necessary,” says Leclercq. ‘Cross-border cooperation maintains pluralism. I am confident that Mediahuis will respect EURACTIV’s values.’
Advocacy and communications consultancy SECNegate provides a framework of what goes on in the Brussels media bubble. Not only EURACTIV and POLITICO, but other actors such as Euronews, MLex and Semafor are playing in the same field.
Alexandre Météreau is the author of The Beubble and a specialist in European policies and politics. He agrees with EURACTIV’s founder by saying: “Either media go with concentration, allying with cross-border media—like Euractiv did—or international groups—like Politico already did with the Springer Group. Or it finds new and innovative ways to generate revenues.”
However, he doesn’t recognise the importance of national readers, at least for EURACTIV with its 13 languages in 13 capitals. In his opinion, readers outside the Brussels bubble are not interested in EU affairs.
The European Parliament’s leading parliamentary committees have green-lighted the AI Act in a vote on Thursday (11 May), paving the way for plenary adoption in mid-June. The AI Act is a flagship legislation to regulate Artificial Intelligence based on its potential to cause harm. On Thursday, the Parliament’s Civil Liberties and Internal Market committees jointly adopted the text by large majority.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) recently shared its position on the proposed European Media Freedom Act (EMFA): they call on EU and MEPs to amend it so that it effectively safeguards the right to reliable news and information, especially online, and favour sustainable journalism.
This week Europe’s MediaLab will be present at this conference where media and policy practitioners, policymakers, academics, regulators, journalists and members of civil society to look at the challenges of online disinformation and how to tackle it. EDMO and its hubs will also share their results in addressing online disinformation.
The conference will also look ahead at disinformation in the run-up to the European elections in 2024.