MEDIAdelcom: Where are European media landscapes heading?

A consortium from 14 European countries conducted research into the risks and opportunities of media audiences in Europe. The project ran for three years.

A research project, which was launched in March 2021 with a week-long online event, is looking at the changes in the media sector and the associated impact on the public sphere in Europe. 17 partner institutes from 14 European countries have joined forces for the three-year MEDIAdelcom project as part of the EU's Horizon 2020 funding program.

The consortium aimed to gain a new perspective on changes in the media sector and their impact on public discourse. "Risks and opportunities are a semi-hidden concept in existing research," said project coordinator Halliki Harro-Loit from the University of Tartu in Estonia in her opening speech: "It is often found in communication science publications, especially in the discussion chapters, but without being applied uniformly."

MEDIAdelcom first developed a holistic model of risks and opportunities in the four areas of journalism, media regulation, media literacy and media use. In a second step, a diagnostic tool was developed on this basis for decision-makers in politics, media and society, which can be used to generate scenarios for future developments. Within the project, the Erich Brost Institute, headed by Prof. Dr. Susanne Fengler and Marcus Kreutler, took the lead in the recording of national research capacities in the four areas of interest of MEDIAdelcom.

The long form of the project title is 'Critical Exploration of Media Related Risks and Opportunities for Deliberative Communication: Development Scenarios of the European Media Landscape'. The Dortmund-based institute is cooperating with partners in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.