Just, Natascha. 2009. Measuring media concentration and diversity: new approaches and instruments in Europe and the US. In Media, Culture & Society. 31, pp97 – 117.
In this 2009 paper Natascha Just explains the various methods in place for measuring media concentration and diversity within Europe and the US. She also discusses the difficulties faced in implementing such regulatory measures. Just goes into some detail on the various systems that are currently in place in a number of different western countries and points out the arguments for and against these systems but she does not provide much guidance on which methods she would prefer to see standardised. I found the article very dense and at times difficult to understand, but I felt that the core of the author’s argument is that a satisfactory system for measuring the amount of control any single company or individual interest has on public opinion does not yet exist.
One of the major problems affecting media regulation is its inherent conflict with free trade laws. The current climate of increasingly transnational trade, where much emphasis is put on the free global movement of goods and services, poses a threat to media regulation. Powerful organisations like the World Trade Organisation are in place to safeguard a free marketplace, but concepts like media regulation directly conflict with their ethos. At the other end of this spectrum of global media governance is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an organization that attempts to justify media regulation. (Puppis, 2008, pp. 406). This ethos conflict comes about because the media is essentially serving two conflicting roles in society: an economic role and a cultural role. As a commodity, the media is entitled to a competitive market, but the media should also be treated as a tool for the formation of public opinion.