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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

European Commission: What challenges for the publishing industry in the digital age?

The European Commission today launched a public consultation on "how to enhance the competitiveness of the publishing sector in the EU's increasingly digital economy." The replies to the consultation will be presented at a publisher's summit taking place on December 6 in Brussels and should help policy makers in the EU to better understand the challenges and need of the publishing industry in the EU.

Already next Friday editors-in-chief from eight European newspapers and magazines, including Emily Bell from Guardian Unlimited (UK) and Tøger Seidenfaden from POLITIKEN (Denmark), will meet in Brussels to discuss and give their view on strategic challenges affecting the publishing sector, like the impact of web-based and 24 hour television news or how particular Commission policies affected the editorial freedom and commercial prospect of the press. Viviane Reding, commissioner of Information Society and Media, has invited the editors-in-chief to the meeting. Reding said on Noticias.info: "The consultation launched today demonstrates the importance the Barroso Commission is giving to the media industry, and in particular to the written press ... I expect that the outcome of this consultation will give the industry, but also the EU institutions and national governments a precise picture of the economic situation of the publishing industry and of the challenges it is currently facing."

Starting point of the consultation will be a Commission study on "factors affecting publishing industry competitiveness." For a detailed explanation of the project see also The Commission's Approach to the Publishing Industry: Frequently Asked Questions
. It explains for example why Europe needs a healthy publishing industry: "The publishing industry is a tremendous force for diversity. Around 64,000 publishers across the EU contribute to the industry ... It is important that publishing finds sustainable business models so that it can prosper on-line ... The free press has long provided a forum for political news and debate. Even now, with many people relying on television for news, the press contributes a depth and diversity to debate, which cannot be achieved within the constraints of a TV schedule..."

Sources: European Commission, Viviane Reding's site, Noticias.info, Der Standard (in German),

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on September 20, 2005 at 06:12 PM | Permalink

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