MediaPowerMonitor was founded in 2015 by a group of writers concerned about the state of independent journalism and the thorny relations between media and the powers that be.
In our collective experience, we have met and worked with hundreds of writers, journalists and researchers across the globe who closely follow these issues.
They hail from all kinds of nations, small and big, poor and rich, racist and tolerant, religious and atheist, hot and cold. They know who really has power and influence in the media, who wields control over journalists and who dictates editorial decisions.
This website gives them a platform to write about it. We launched this website because so many important stories about independent journalism and its foes (or friends) never get published or are only touched upon in comments posted on social networks, or after hours in the local pub. We have the luxury to write freely about all these sensitive issues because no big or nasty government or business controls us. And we hope they will never will.
So, what is MPM writing about?
At first glance, we might seem like a niche site, but in fact we cover a wide range of issues because relations between media and power impact societies in surprising ways. And how media and journalists act is influenced not only by politicians and governments, but by a bevy of communities, businesses, religious groups, armies, industries and professions. Why would a construction group buy a major newspaper, for example? The news might be everywhere, but few know what the long-term interests of this unusual buyer are. That is something we would write about.
Why do news outlets slam or eulogize a politician or a political group? Sometimes the journalists don’t toe the line set by these groups – their owners. But sometimes they behave like lapdogs although they aren’t directly controlled. There is much behind such behavior: money, influence, corruption, blackmail – you name it. That is something we would write about.
For many people, regulators and regulation are paper tigers. Few understand the need for an entity to license television stations to operate or what laws govern telecommunication companies or internet service providers. When we see such a story, we tend to look at it as something too technical or specialized. In fact, much of the media regulation is a political football. People working in these bodies, usually politically appointed, make decisions about what the general public is going to watch or listen to or what people can use on the internet. Often, they even decide about how the public is going to watch television or listen to radio. What lies behind such decisions, and what do such decisions mean in real life? That is something that we would write about.
Telecoms and technology manufacturers as well as internet providers are gaining a bigger say in media matters. The sector doesn’t look anymore as it used and very often such companies can restrict access to information and news. They are part of the game now. In many places, they are in cahoots with governments or media production groups. That is something we would write about.
Finally, academics spend time, sometimes too much, doing research on media. Much of this is shared by professors at conferences and other academic powwows. Much of this work ends on a library shelf. This work is invaluable because it tells why what is happening is happening and what is going to happen and why. But little of this content makes it into the media or reaches non-academic readers – most often because it is too specialized. Take these great things that professors produce and put them into jargon-free stories. That is how we would write.
We strive to bring you crisp stories and articulate opinions, carefully documented and edited, from writers who live in the places they write about.
MediaPowerMonitor is run collaboratively a global community of writers, experts and researchers created by Marius Dragomir.
Marius Dragomir now serves as the Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society. He previously worked for the Open Society Foundations (OSF) for over a decade. Since 2007, he has managed the research and policy portfolio of the Program on Independent Journalism (PIJ), formerly the Network Media Program (NMP), in London. He has also been one of the main editors for PIJ’s flagship research and advocacy project, Mapping Digital Media, which covered 56 countries worldwide, and was the main writer and editor of OSF’s Television Across Europe, a comparative study of broadcast policies in 20 European countries.
Marius has spent the past decade in the media research field, specializing in media and communication regulation, digital media, governing structures of public service media and broadcasting, spectrum management, and ownership regulation. He has authored expert studies and articles on journalism and media policies that have been published and translated in more than 60 countries.
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