The EU’s ‘Common News Market’

Not quite sure what to make of this one, whereby the EU is subsidizing this effort to create a “common news market” by translating the top news around the Union into all the member states’ languages. On the one hand, the language divergence is an inherent handicap to the emergence of a common identity, and its manifestation in the realm of news and information is an obstacle to the formulation of a common political agenda. India, for instance, experiences the same phenomenon. (The inherent market limitations of its multi-language territory, by the way, is another reason why the printed press is growing in India compared to online news, as opposed to the reverse in the States.)

But despite the assurances of the EU’s “communications commissioner” that there will be no effort to affect editorial content, I wonder whether the state belongs in this equation. There are already free market initiatives to address the issue, such as Courrier International, which exists in various countries, as do alternatives. Indeed, the pilot project will be subcontracted to a group of these publications. And although the Courrier International’s editor-in-chief was adamant that Euro-skeptic voices would be included, the project by its very nature remains Euro-phile. The fact that I’m a Euro-phile myself does nothing to reduce my concerns over conflict of interest and a free press. Concerns, of course, that won’t keep me from bookmarking the page and including it in my daily news scan.

More World Politics Review