“Media concentration trends in Central and Eastern Europe”, Intellect Books, Bristol, 2008

The paper reviews the status and trends of concentration of media ownership in media markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the relationship of concentration and pluralism of the media and their impact on the democratic function of media.
While this paper, based on one set of country data (i.e. Croatia) on market structures and content diversity, does not prove that the concentration of the television market influences the diminished diversity of program content, some conclusions on the influence of competition and the structure of media policy in respect to diversity of content could been drawn.
The findings points at several conclusions regarding post-socialist Europe: the media markets are still developing, the majority of the media companies are of foreign origin; this transnational aspect of media concentration is more pronounced in the East than in the West, where the media industry developed indigenously over decades; pluralism and diversity was after 1990s first provided by the market based media against the former state media and broadcasters; the transformation of state broadcasters into PSB’s is difficult – for political and financial reasons; across all the media in CEE, the professionalization of journalists has not yet been attained, making them more vulnerable to influences from both the owners and the political pressures; the market data are still not thorough enough and transparent enough, and the analyses of concentration trends is only at the beginning; studies on diversity and pluralism of content are almost non-existent (or not published in international journals or English language publications).