Definitions

Media Pluralism and Media Diversity: There is no international consensus on the meanings of these two and they often are used interchangeably. Media diversity often refers to media structure rather than content. From a regulatory point of view, one can discern between regulation of content and regulation of structure:

‘Structural regulation and content regulation

Hitchens (2006, p. 9) presents a review of the various terms, suggesting it is first helpful to understand that regulation can essentially be characterised as either structural regulation or content regulation. She uses the term ‘pluralism’ to describe two kinds of structural regulation and the term ‘diversity’ to describe two types of content regulation. The two types of structural regulation are ensuring a number of different types of media (e.g., commercial television) and ensuring a number of different owners. The two types of content regulation are diversity of opinions and diversity in the range of programs (e.g., information, entertainment).’

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‘External pluralism and internal pluralism

A further distinction which relates to aspects of pluralism itself, rather than regulation,is the characterisation of external and internal pluralism (see, for example, Hitchens 2006; Doyle2002; Karppinen 2013, p. 100). Hitchens (2006, p. 9) characterises structural regulation in relation to external pluralism and content regulation in relation to internal pluralism or diversity. Doyle (2002, p. 12) uses ‘external pluralism’ to denote a range of suppliers (i.e., diverse ownership) and ‘internal pluralism’ to denote pluralism within a single supplier (which therefore is essentially about diversity of content).

Doyle (2002) goes on to distinguish between ‘political pluralism’ and ‘cultural pluralism’: political pluralism concerns ‘the need, in the interests of democracy, for a range of political opinions and viewpoints to be represented in the media’, whereas cultural pluralism concerns ‘the need for a variety of cultures, reflecting the diversity within society, to find expression in the media’.42This is similar to the distinctions made by Valcke, Picard & Sükösd(2015, p. 5), who speak of the cultural, political and geographic dimensions of pluralism as well as content and format.

Wilding, D., Fray, P., Molitorisz, S. & McKewon, E.2018, The Impact of Digital Platforms on News and Journalistic Content, University of Technology Sydney, NSW

Regulation: ‘Regulation refers to the whole process of control or guidance, by established rules and procedures, applied by governments and other political and administrative authorities to all kinds of media activities. Thus regulation is always a potential intervention in ongoing activities, usually for some stated “public interest” goal, but also to serve the needs of the market (for instance, by supporting competition) or for reasons of technical efficiency (for instance, setting technical standards). Regulation takes many forms, ranging from clauses in national constitutions and laws to administrative procedures and technical specifications. Regulation can be internal as well as external. In the former case, we are usually speaking of `self-regulation’, where internal controls are applied, sometimes in response to public pressure or criticism from outside’ (from: Media History and Social Regulation Mod 2 Unit 11, University of Leicester).

Internet Governance“…is understood as the development and application by governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the internet.” (Council of Europe Definition).