In the surveyed countries, already weak media landscapes continue to come under further pressure from digitalization and new competing outlets. Revenue models disappear as markets shift online, and dependence on government advertising or state owners increases. A non-diverse media ownership landscape in many countries causes problems for digital participation, especially when media houses are owned by politicians. Since the Internet arrived, the pace of journalistic work, which has always been driven by current events, has sped up yet again. The Internet has become the ultimate news accelerator, often setting the agenda, although entertainment and soft news tend to prevail. Journalists feel under pressure due to competition from new online news providers, and an expectation to learn digital skills quickly. Additionally, they’re under pressure to work for less, because of the way the digital transformation has eaten away at salaries. Media networks, journalists and media literacy must be strengthened. Digital participation is only possible on the basis of a well-informed community engaging with reliable information.
The #speakup barometer is a DW Akademie project that examines the connection between digital participation, freedom of expression and access to information. Learn more at www.dw.com/barometer