C4C Statement on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA)

Following the presentation of the European Media Freedom Act by the European Commission on 13 September, the Coalition for Creativity (C4C) would like to express its concerns about a ‘media exemption’ popping-up again and the lack of proper transparency rules for the media industry.

Come-Back of the ‘Media Exemption’ (Article 17)

We believe that the treatment of media content by online platforms is a complex and sensitive issue that merits a proper debate and a thorough evaluation. Despite the clear rejection of the strong calls for a media exemption during the DSA and DMA debates, this demand is making its come-back through the EMFA, an instrument that clearly identifies media capture as a problem the EU is not spared  of. This risks having a detrimental impact on access to information and media pluralism, while possibly jeopardising the EU’s efforts against disinformation.

Ms Caroline De Cock, C4C Coordinator, said:

“Attributing new privileges to media organisations without awaiting the implementation and impact of the DSA provisions, would at the very best be premature and ill-thought, and at the very worst could open Pandora’s box of issues related to the identification of which media outlets would benefit from it as well as possible claims from other actors to benefit from similar privileges. One would hope all users can benefit from due process in content moderation.”

Missing Element: Strong Transparency

The proposal appears to be very light in terms of ensuring media ownership transparency, despite this being one of the crucial elements that civil society stakeholders have been calling for.

Ms Caroline De Cock, C4C Coordinator, said:

“Brussels has been big on transparency, so the failure to put forward a strong framework to unravel the financial streams in the media industry is disappointing. EU policymakers need to urgently facilitate the public scrutiny of these money flow seeing the media’s role as watchdog of democracy and in shaping the public opinion.”