The global economic recession has influenced many sectors of economy, causing decrease of profits, unemployment, bankruptcies, etc.
Media as a particular business type is often regulated by specific laws reflecting its important public role. However, in the economic downturn media has been hit severely and has seen considerable decrease in their profits.
This has caused changes in the media ownership and in practice has meant changes in the editorial policies, forcing media to move away from investigative and analytical work to a more personality centered and scandal oriented reporting.
This on many occasions put pressures on the independence of the editorial policies and honesty of journalists and prevents the public from participation in a quality exchange of views and opinions that is the fundamental of a democratic system and good governance.
Many countries have attempted to oppose these developments by strengthening the role of public media, passing laws that increase transparency of the media ownership. However, these efforts have been weakened by increasing necessity to run austerity budgets and inability to ensure full transparency in the media ownership due to the globalized business ownership.
A set of recommendations of how governments should oppose the above developments should be prepared by the Assembly so as to give guidance on how to preserve the fundamentals of democracy.