Understanding EU media through data – statistics
Complexity of the media In the major debates occurring across the EU about the role of the market in media provision, measuring activity gives us an indication of the media trends. This is where the complexity of the media can often be found. In newspaper publication, for example, private provision is normal, but there are many exceptions where some newspapers receive state subsidy (France and Luxembourg amongst others). In the broad sweep of analysis, is this relevant? Being so small a percentage of activity it is probably not statistically important for the EU overall, whereas the fact that newspapers are overwhelmingly controlled by the private sector is significant. However, this is not the case for public sector broadcasting, especially television in Europe which comes out of a public sector history. Herein lies a real quandary over the future of public broadcasting and its impact upon society. This has traditionally been measured by audience ratings. Assessing the impact of the media from both public and private sectors demands a careful balance of quantitative and qualitative views and this is where statistics can be an essential tool.