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Home » Focus, Headline

GRI guidelines: for more transparency on media companies

Submitted by on June 18, 2012 – 13:06No Comment

In May, the Global Report­ing Ini­tia­tive (GRI) launched new guide­lines for report­ing on media com­pa­nies’ eco­nomic, social and envi­ron­men­tal data. In a Euro­pean con­text of strong media con­cen­tra­tion and both polit­i­cal and eco­nom­i­cal threats to plu­ral­ism, this com­pre­hen­sive tool could be very use­ful for more trans­parency on media com­pa­nies. Let’s hope they will get into it…

The Global Report­ing Ini­tia­tive (GRI) is a non-profit organ­i­sa­tion based in Ams­ter­dam that aims at ori­ent­ing and stim­u­lat­ing sus­tain­abil­ity report­ing in all kind of organisation.

A multi-stakeholder and geo­graph­i­cally diverse Work­ing Group, formed by vol­un­teers from media com­pa­nies (The Guardian y BBC, Time-Warner, Vivendi, Antena, Clarín, Ber­tels­mann, Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion…), labor, non-governmental and research organ­i­sa­tions (ANDI Comu­ni­cación y Dere­chos, the Inter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists (IFJ), The Nature Con­ser­vancy, ALISOS-Alianzas para la Sosteni­bil­i­dad, Fun­dación Nuevo Peri­odismo iber­amer­i­cano (FNPI), BSD Con­sul­tancy…) elab­o­rated spe­cific Media guide­lines.

Its main items con­cern the own­er­ship struc­ture, the trans­parency on deci­sion mak­ing processes and pub­lic pol­icy, the edi­to­r­ial Inde­pen­dence, the finan­cial assis­tance and adver­tis­ing rev­enues from gov­ern­ments and non-government sources, the free­dom of expres­sion, the approaches to the cre­ation and dis­sem­i­na­tion of con­tent, and the use of paper and inks.

GRI web­site’ s data­base allows an easy search for the exist­ing reports.

Do media groups will play by the rules? As a non-governmental organ­i­sa­tion, GRI can only offer its guid­ance and help organ­i­sa­tions to report on their own data. But the lat­ter are free to report or not, and to chose the items they want to report.

For exam­ple, in the media field, the French Lagardère group made a report focus­ing on social and envi­ron­men­tal issues but sim­ply shirked eco­nomic data as their revenues.

Pro­mote GRI Guide­lines and encour­age lit­tle media to report could be use­ful to offer to cit­i­zens a panorama of media struc­tures in Europe, and all over the word. It could com­plete the media eth­i­cal panorama (print press and TV) devel­oped so far by the Inter­na­tional Alliance of Jour­nal­ists in 7 coun­tries (France, Brazil, Bel­gium, Great-Britain, Swiss, Spain and India).

Related posts:

  1. Cre­ate a bal­ance between pub­lic ser­vice media, com­mer­cial media and community-based media

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