Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is MOM?
The Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) has been developed as a mapping tool that generates a publicly available database detailing the proprietors of the biggest communications media in each country (press, television, radio and Internet) and their related interests. This information will be continually updated.
MOM seeks to make the risks to media pluralism brought about a concentration of media ownership more visible (for more information: Methodology). MOM also qualitatively assesses market conditions and the regulatory environment, so as to capture local characteristics and detect elements capable of increasing or reducing the risk of media concentration.
2. Who is behind MOM?
MOM has been proposed and launched by Reporter ohne Grenzen e. V. – the German section of the international human rights organization Reporters without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), that aims to defend freedom of the press and the right to inform and be informed anywhere in the world.
RSF collaborates with a local partner in each country. In Peru the MOM implementation partner is Ojo-Público, an investigative digital journalism and new narratives media.
3. Who funds it?
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
4. Why is Transparency of Media Ownership important?
Media pluralism is a key aspect of democratic societies as free, independent, and diverse media reflect divergent viewpoints and allow criticism of people in power. Risks to diversity of ideas are caused by media market concentration, when only a few players exercise a dominant influence on public opinion and raise entrance barriers for other players and perspectives. The biggest obstacle to fight it is the lack of transparency of media ownership. How can people evaluate the reliability of information, if they don´t know who provides it? How can journalists work properly, if they don´t know who controls the company they work for? And how can media authorities address excessive media concentration, if they don not know who is behind the media's steering wheel?
Through the raising of public awareness and the development of a factual information base, MOM’s objective is to increase transparency and permit questioning of the dominant political and economic actors, by providing the answer to the question: Who controls the communications media?
5. What kind of Concentration Control does MOM suggest?
MOM doesn’t make normative statements. It does not suggest how to control media ownership. Which form of media concentration control can work, depends on the country context, the existing legal and market conditions, the ownership landscape.
MOM provides a transparency tool to enforce a democratic discussion on that issue as well as good governance: decisions are likely to be of higher quality and to better reflect the needs and wishes of the people if they have access to adequate information and broad consultations, with views and opinions freely shared.
6. How is Data collected?
We preferred to use official sources or sources with a high degree of reliability.
Where nothing was publicly available, information was sought directly from media companies, politicians, administrators and research institutions.
We used information available from:
- The National Inspectorate of Public Registries (SUNARP).
- The National Inspectorate of Tax Administration (SUNAT).
- The Securities Market Inspectorate (SMV).
- The State Procurement Supervisor (OSCE).
- The book: Peru: The Top 10,000 Companies 2016.
To guarantee objective evaluation, for verification and for difficult decisions, MOM-Peru worked with a consultative group consisting of:
- Jorge Acevedo, communicator and university lecturer.
- Mario Munive, communicator and university lecturer.
- Jacqueline Fowks, contributing journalist of El País
- Simeon Tegel, RSF Peru.
- Santiago Pedraglio, journalist and university lecturer.
- Julia María Urrunaga, Peru Program Director, Environmental Research Agency (EIA).
MOM-Peru also interviewed the Vice-Minister for Communications, Carlos Valdez Velásquez López.
7. How is "most relevant Media" defined?
The key question is: Which media influence the formation of public opinion?
In reviewing who are the proprietors of the most important media, we considered print media, radio, television and digital. The selection was made using the following criteria:
- The ten media in each category with the greatest reach measured by audience share.
- The value of the informational content and of the opinions expressed: The study focused on media delivering content that is nationally relevant, with social networks, search engines and advertising excluded.
8. How are the Media Outlets selected?
Consistent with MOM methodology, the selection of the 40 media was undertaken based on studies of audience share. Each survey had limitations and the team had to make choices in order to identify the ten media for each category. Different sources were used.
For television, the Kantar Ibope survey was employed, which measures total 2015 audience share between 6 am and 12 at midnight. However, this survey only measures its own clients (cable and free-to-air channels with national reach) in Lima and six other cities. In addition, its survey system differs between cable and free-to-air.
Therefore, six free-to-air channels, (Latina Televisión, América Televisión, Panamericana Televisión, ATV, ATV+ and Red TV), the state channel (TV Perú) and three news and information cable channels (Canal N, RPP TV and Willax) were selected.
For radio, the average of the two national surveys undertaken by the CPI company in 2015 was used. It became evident that there were insufficient national broadcasters of news and information to create a Top 10 for media which influence public opinion.
A decision was taken to select the ten highest rating stations, regardless of their content. Only one of these broadcasts news and information. The remainder broadcast music and entertainment.
The selection of print media was undertaken based on the final survey for 2014 by the Peruvian Association of Journalism Companies. There is no more recent source of information about circulation.
The selection of ten newspapers was rounded out with Exitosa, a new journal which has already had a significant impact.
For Internet media, the 2015 IAB annual average audience share was deemed to be more reliable than Alex.com.
However, because IAB’s Internet survey only measures its own clients, latina.pe and larepublica.pe were not measured during certain months of 2015. However, even excluding the visits they would have received during the months in which they were not surveyed, both media figure in the Top 10.
9. Why Peru?
The project aims to create an international ranking of media ownership concentration. Implementation began in 2015 in two countries, followed by six more in 2016. The intention is to extend the list in 2017. Peru is a development cooperation partner for Germany. It occupies position 80 on the World Freedom of the Press Index (2016), published by Reporters Without Borders.
Peru’s score of 29.99 for freedom of the press is troubling. It indicates that media concentration is a significant, particularly for the print media: the El Comercio Group owns close to 78% of print media, as well as one of the main free-to-air channels.
10. Does the MOM only exist for Peru?
The MOM methodology has been standardized and can be universally applied. Whilst media concentration occurs throughout the world, MOM will be implemented in developing countries. During 2015, MOM was implemented as a pilot in Colombia and Cambodia. During 2016, MOM is being implemented in Peru, the Philippines, Turkey, Mongolia, Tunisia and Ukraine. This list will expand in 2017.
11. What are the limitations of the study?
- There is little information about audience share. Only one survey source exists for each media sector and each presents problems (see: Methodology). While it was possible to select the 40 most important media, it was not possible to calculate indicators. Lack of reliable information is itself a threat to market diversity.
- Scarce available financial information. Only one media group is publicly listed on the Lima Stock Exchange and thus publishes its financial information for the Securities Market Inspectorate. Information for the remaining countries has been taken from 2014 declarations published in the book Peru: The Top 10,000 Companies 2016. In the case of groups, only one member reports and sales of the remainder are unknown. In many cases, there is no information about operating profits.
- There is no advertising information. Precise figures for advertising revenue do not exist. In some cases, information has been published by researchers based on data available from the State Procurement Supervisor. General information only is available about private contracts as there is no publicly available data.
- Market share is not publicly available. There is no official information about how the advertising share by media is divided.
- Limited information about associated interests. The search for other businesses in which media owners have an interest is hindered by the fact that while the National Inspectorate of Public Registries makes available information about whether an individual has occupied a board position, it does not indicate whether that individual is a shareholder. Searching by company name, it is possible to determine who the shareholders are.
12. Who do we target?
· Allows any citizen to inform themselves about the media system generally and the owners of the media he or she consumes. The project also raises awareness about the importance of media ownership, transparency and critical judgment about media content.
· It supports civil society activities that promote public awareness of the impact of media ownership concentration.
· It provides a database for government authorities when establishing regulatory measures necessary to safeguard media pluralism.
13. What happens next?
The database is a snapshot of the current situation in Peru, contextualized with relevant historic facts. Ojo-Público.com will update it regularly.
Following implementation in other countries, an international ranking of media ownership concentration will be established, similar to the Reporters Without Borders Freedom of Press classification.
14. Are there similar projects?
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