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Media pluralism and democracy – Special Eurobarometer 452

Ahead of the 2016 Colloquium on Fundamental Rights, the Commission commissioned a special Eurobarometer survey on the topics of media pluralism and democracy.

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The Eurobarometer survey explores citizen’s opinions about the diversity of views available in the media, and their perceptions of media independence. In particular, the survey covers the following areas:

  • Views about the variety of opinions and views presented in the media;
  • Perceptions of the independence of both the general and public service media;
  • Trust in the information provided by the media;
  • Awareness of the national media regulator, and opinions about its independence;
  • Participation in debates on social media;
  • Online encounters with hate speech and threats, and the influence this has on participation

The Eurobarometer figures highlight the following issues:

  • Two-thirds of respondents agree that their national media provide a diversity of views and opinions
  • Almost three in four respondents say national media are providing the same or more diversity of views and opinions, compared to five years ago
  • A minority of respondents say their national media provide information free from political or commercial pressure
  • A minority think their national public service media are free from political pressure
  • The majority of respondents think their national media are at least as free and independent as they were five years ago
  • A slight majority agree their national media provide trustworthy information
  • Radio is considered the most reliable form of national media
  • Just over one in five respondents spontaneously give the correct name of the body that oversees audiovisual media in their country
  • Only a minority of respondents agree the national media regulator is free and independent from political, governmental or commercial pressures
  • Just over half of all respondents follow debates on social media
  • Just over one quarter of respondents take part in these debates
  • Three quarters of the respondents have experienced abuse, hate speech or threats directed at journalists, bloggers or people active on social media
  • Half of respondents say such cases do not make them hesitate to engage in such debates

Full report, the Summary report (EN, DE, FR) as well as the Country sheets (all languages)

See also: the 2016 Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights "Media Pluralism and Democracy"