“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.
Today the average citizen in Europe, despite having access to more sources and a greater volume of “news” than ever before, suffers a dearth of diversity of information in the media. This is the case with regard to content, as well as analysis and opinion. There are a number of reasons for this:
On the one hand, a great deal of reporting is based on information from politicians and their spokespersons; many stories are sourced from public relations firms, funded by corporations and other vested interests; numerous “experts” and academics, whose statements predominate in the media, have very close ties, or are financed by governments, political parties, financial institutions, and corporations.
On the other hand, as a result of austerity in state media and the quest for profits in private media, journalists are no longer able to properly research their inputs; often adequate time and money are not available even to verify the information that is being distributed by the media.
Yet in Europe there are large numbers of academics, experts, activists, civil movements, and other organisations who offer information on topics, insights, findings, and opinions – but due to the above mentioned reasons seldom receive coverage in mainstream media.
Furthermore, while political and corporate interests operate internationally, most media and the flow of information are still disseminated within national borders and limited by language barriers. 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, not to promote a democratic free flow of ideas.
The goal of EDM European Democratic Media eG (a non-profit Cooperative) is to create the first website publishing analyses, reports and opinions that relate to the real lives of the majority of Europeans. We support a democratic exchange of ideas across the borders of European nations enabling the creation of a democratic, just, and sustainable option to neo-liberal Europe.
This website, BRAVE NEW EUROPE, will not be just another news website, but will disseminate expertise with a radical face and analytical insights concerning European politics, finance and economics, free of sensationalism and cant.
BRAVE NEW EUROPE will offer free online content, acting as a filter, giving readers access to information that they would not easily encounter elsewhere.
EDM European Democratic Media eG is not a platform for populists or demagogues. BRAVE NEW EUROPE will not be functionalised by political parties, business associations, and corporations. Instead the website will serve as an interface between critical academics, serious experts, and activists, connecting theory and practical politics.
Involving authors from throughout the continent, 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.
The exchange of ideas will not be limited to the contributors, but will include comments by readers. BRAVE NEW EUROPE aims to build a pan-European community of participants and a forum in which relevant European public and economic issues can be debated.