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This document presents the methodology to collect and assess data in the pilot version of the Euromedia Ownership Monitor.

The theoretical concept was developed by the coordinating team at the University of Salzburg, whereas the database and the search were programmed by experts from the University of Turku, Tampere University and Cyprus University of Technology. National research teams were responsible for the data collection and the assessments. See the research consortium for the full list of participants.

Each national team defined their sample of media outlets and organisations based on relevance for opinion shaping. The pilot EurOMo, therefore, does not cover all the media. Relevance for the sample definition is understood in terms of consumption (market share) and/or agenda setting (citation and/or recommendation by other news services). The samples consider both national and regional media, but the national teams could determine the proportion, considering the peculiarities of each country. The same logic applies with regard to the media sectors. Print (newspapers and magazines), broadcasting (TV and radio) and online (web-only or web version of print and broadcasting) are present in all samples, following deliberation by national teams on the relevance of representing more or less each sector. Countries have samples with 10 to 40 media outlets, depending on the media market size.

Dimensions of ownership and control

As explained in the theory, the EurOMo established six dimensions of media ownership and control:

  • Ownership structure
  • Management
  • Economic control
  • Relations
  • Distribution
  • Public policy


The most important information in the EurOMo methodology pertains to the dimension of “Ownership structure” and basically refers to legal shareholdings. Each national team searched for direct and indirect legal shareholders of the media outlets in their sample, when possible including all legal and natural persons with at least 5% of participation in an outlet. Natural persons are considered beneficial owners, following the definition of the EU Anti-Money Laundery Directive (AMLD, 2021).

Example: if the TV channel “News Max” is published by “Media Company A”, this is 50% owned by “Company B”, which in turn is 50% owned by “John Person”, this means that “John Person” is a beneficial owner of “News Max” with 25% participation in the outlet. 

Click to enlarge

The information about legal shareholding is available in the searchable database of news media and owners and in the network graphics on country pages. In these interfaces, the real name of beneficial owners has been substituted by a placeholder.

To cover the other dimensions of ownership and control, namely “Management”, “Economic control”, “Relations”, “Distribution” and “Public policy”, the EurOMo also collects and makes available the following data:

  • About news outlets:
    • Names of economic managers (CEOs, general directors) and editors-in-chief
    • Circulation and audience figures
    • Affiliation to party, church, interest group or any relevant organisation
  • About legal shareholders:
    • Main business areas, registration number (e.g., VAT) and legal type
    • Revenues (turnover, year basis 2020)
    • Hired staff in terms of full-time equivalents
    • Public funding as subsidies, advertising or other forms
    • Affiliation to party, church, interest group or any relevant organisation
  • About digital platforms:
    • List of services relevant for news (relevance is defined in a qualitative way in each country; for reference, teams were encouraged to include all platforms used for news by at least 5% of the population)
    • Parent company and local office
    • Commercial agreements with news media
    • Transparency of content curation criteria and of the role of commercial agreements in promoting (news) content
    • Existence of a non-profiled content curation
  • About laws:
    • List of laws relevant for regulating the dimensions above, i.e. which are relevant for media ownership and control
    • Year, number and link to original source

Data collection

Data was collected from publicly available sources. As public sources, we consider information that can be accessed by any person, for free or behind a paywall, in the following sources:

  • Media outlet and company websites
  • Company registers and reports
  • Reports by national regulatory authorities (NRAs) or similar public bodies
  • Press
  • Publicly available research

For the assessments and country reports, data may also come from interviews with stakeholders (media owners and managers, editors-in-chief, journalists, union representatives, NRA representatives, media experts and researchers).

Since the pilot project was conducted in two waves, data from Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden reflect the situation on 31st May 2022. Data from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia reflect the situation on 30th April 2023. After those cut-off dates, there has been changes in ownership and control of several EU media organisations, but these changes are not reflected in the pilot database.

By comparing data from several sources, our research team has done the best to identify incorrect or incomplete information. However, if these public sources themselves are not updated or incorrect, the monitor will probably reproduce the mistake. In addition, the monitor cannot claim completeness, as some legal arrangements make private the information about control over a company. In the case of financial data, there are often aggregated sums, but no disaggregated figures. We attempt, though, to indicate when this information should be available, but is missing. The fact that information on one of these areas is not available is used to assess transparency both in a qualitative way, in the country reports, and in the Risk Index.

Risk assessment

Besides providing a database of relevant information on media ownership and control and narrative country reports, the EurOMo also assesses risks for transparency in the form of an index. Based on the methodology of composite indices provided by the OECD and others (2008), the index translates the data collected and the qualitative assessments made by the national teams into quantitative values for cross-country comparison.

In this index, each country has a score between 0 and 3, where 0 refers to the worst performance possible and 3 to the best performance possible. The higher the performance, the lower the risk for transparency. The final value corresponds to the weighted average of the performance of a country in the six dimensions of the monitor.

Each dimension, in turn, is composed of empirical indicators, which are weighted within the dimension itself. Most indicators are qualitative assessments by the national teams graded in a 0-3-point scale just as the full score. The quantitative indicators, in turn, calculate how much information is available in the areas that the EurOMo framework expects to be disclosed. In this case, the amount of information available was measured in percentages and weighted according to market sectors. For example, in a country where newspaper is more important than TV in news use, the availability of information about newspapers has a bigger weight than information about TV channels. The weights of market sectors are derived from the Eurobarometer (2022), covering all 27 EU countries. Finally, the percentages of these quantitative indicadors are normalised to the 0-3 point scale with 50% as the mininum threshold (i.e., where the scale begins, meaning that availability of a certain information below 50% leads to a score 0).

Alongside all six dimensions mentioned above, the instrument considers that there are two major types of risk:

  • Lack of transparency in information provided by the media themselves
  • Specific risks arising from conditions in which the media operate

The operationalisation of the indicators covering both types of risks in all dimensions is described below.

Decisions about the dimensions, indicators and weights are based on scholarly literature and EU recommendations/policymaking, but are ultimately normative by the EurOMo research team.

Some risk areas have particularities which require slightly different approaches, such as special weighting. This is explained below.

Ownership structure

This dimension accounts for 22.2% of the overall index.


This dimension accounts for 16.7% of the overall index.

Economic control

This dimension accounts for 11.1% of the overall index.


This dimension accounts for 11.1% of the overall index.


This dimension accounts for 16.7% of the overall index.

Indicators have different weights for each country depending on the relative importance of news distribution in the different market sectors (print, TV, radio, web, digital intermediaries). Importance is measured by news exposure in the market according to the Eurobarometer (2022). Example: The higher the exposure to print news in a given country, the higher the relative importance of the indicator “Print distribution” for the full score of the country in this dimension.

Public policy

This dimension accounts for 22.2% of the overall index.

Indicators have different weights for each country depending on the relative importance of news use via digital intermediaries (social media, search, news aggregators), as measured by the Eurobarometer (2022). Example: The higher the exposure to news via social media in a given country, the higher the relative importance of the indicators related to policy and regulation of digital intermediaries (the last four indicators).

Research Consortium