“When money talks, everybody else is condemned to listen”, wrote the American historian Christopher Lasch twenty years ago. He was referring to the increasing concentration of wealth, including control of the media, in the hands of a minute minority. This concentration puts at risk one of the most fundamental elements of a democratic society: the plurality and free flow of information and opinions.
European public discourse has been hijacked by a neo-liberal ideology, which has successfully dominated the continent for decades, promulgated by a powerful wealthy few. This ideology in the meantime permeates all aspects of life, including media, politics and universities. Today there is still no sign of a coherent pan-European alternative programme that benefits the majority of Europe’s populace, resulting in largely isolated and ephemeral protests against the neo-liberal agenda.
The average citizen in Europe, despite having access to more sources and amounts of “news” than ever before, suffers a dearth of unbiased information in traditional media. Most reporting is based on stories planted by public relations firms, politicians and academics largely funded by financial institutions and other corporate sponsors. Hard facts and original reporting too rarely determine the contents of newspapers, television and radio, while policy and opinions are mostly dictated by the neo-liberal mantra. Yet there are large numbers of academics, experts, and civil movements whose findings, analyses and opinions contradicting the neo-liberal ideology rarely appear in mainstream media or in any media at all.
Furthermore, while corporations and financial institutions operate internationally, most media and the flow of information are still disseminated within national borders. In Europe this is exacerbated by the multitude of languages. There may be a pan-European market for publicity, allowing corporations to create media empires across the EU, but their principal interest is to maximise profits and propagate a neo-liberal ideology, not to promote a democratic free flow of ideas.
The goal of EDM European Democratic Media eG (a charitable cooperative) is to support the free flow of ideas and discussion indispensable for European democracy and thus empower European citizens to play a more active and informed political role in the EU.
To facilitate this goal, EDM European Democratic Media eG will create the first European platform, BRAVE NEW EUROPE, to publish analyses and opinions that challenge the predominate media rhetoric, relate to the real lives of the majority of Europeans and support a democratic exchange of ideas enabling the creation of an egalitarian, just and social option to neo-liberal Europe.
BRAVE NEW EUROPE will not be just another news website, but will disseminate expertise with a radical face and attitude concerning European politics, finance and economics, free of sensationalism and cant. Eschewing political partisanship, it will at the same time not be stifled or paralysed by affected neutrality. Nor shall it ignore the broader, worldwide context, instead shedding light on ideas, criticism and solutions that are substantially ignored by corporate and state media. Offering free online content, it will act as a filter, giving readers access to information that they would not easily encounter elsewhere.
Involving authors from throughout the continent or in the diaspora, BRAVE NEW EUROPE will for the first time connect Europeans in a common forum, exploring, yet not over-simplifying, the complex reality in which we live and focussing on pivotal current issues. BRAVE NEW EUROPE will additionally serve as an interface between experts and activists, connecting theory and practical politics. The exchange of ideas will not be limited to the contributors, but will include comments by readers, aiming to build a community of participants and a forum in which public issues can be debated.
BRAVE NEW EUROPE will be offering in-depth information and analyses, enabling European citizens to better comprehend political and economic realities, and give them the additional information needed to challenge the neo-liberal monologue that dominates corporate and state media as well as to formulate their own policy.