Future Media Lounge conference: “Digital Platforms: helping or hurting media pluralism?

The Future Media Lab. will be hosting the next session of its Future Media Lounge event series in Brussels on Tuesday, 29 September in the European Parliament, from 18:00-20:00. The debate “Digital Platforms: helping or hurting media pluralism?” will be moderated by David Earnshaw, President and Senior Advisor, Burson-Marsteller, Belgium.

In the digital era, accessing media content has never been easier. Digital platforms – such as search engines, app stores, news aggregators, and social media – increasingly help people to find, share, organize, rank, navigate and access information online. They have the potential to transform – and are already changing – how citizens consume media content and engage with politics and society.

Following the European Commission’s announcement last week of the launch of a public consultation on the regulatory environment for online platforms, speakers and expert commentators (see below) will discuss the impact digital platforms potentially have on media pluralism in Europe, both now and in the future.

“I am happy to join this Future Media Lounge session on Tuesday 29 September, which will hopefully contribute to deciphering some of the challenges and opportunities related to the emergence of online intermediaries as key players in the dissemination of news and content in general.” said Prof. Dr. Natali Helberger, who will be one of the speakers at the conference.

A complete list of speakers include:

  • Dr. Sebastian DOEDENS, Head of Public Affairs, Burda Media, Germany 
  • Prof. Dr. Natali HELBERGER, Professor of Information Law, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands 
  • Erika MANN, Managing Director Public Policy EMEA, Facebook, Belgium 
  • MEP Dita CHARANZOVÁ, ALDE/CZ (member of the IMCO committee) 
  • Martin BAILEY, Head of Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission 
  • MEP Michal BONI, EPP/PL (member of the ITRE committee) (tbc)
  • Dr. Thomas HÖPPNER, Senior Associate (Competition lawyer), Olswang LLP, Germany


This Future Media Lounge on 29 September will be the 5th conference organized this year. After a final session to be held in November, the program will continue to tackle some of the key challenges facing Europe’s media in 2016. As Max von Abendroth, Executive Director of the European Magazine Media Association and Founder of the Future Media Lab. think-tank initiative, says: “this event series, taking place in the Parliament, presents an opportunity to bring policymakers together with media professionals, academics and other stakeholders to dive deeply into the big issues Europe’s media sector is facing today”.


The European Magazine Media Association, is the unique and complete representation of Europe’s magazine media, which is today enjoyed by millions of consumers on various platforms, encompassing both paper and digital formats.


The European Newspaper Publishers’ Association (ENPA) is the largest representative body of newspaper publishers across Europe. ENPA advocates for 16 national associations across 13 European countries, and is a principal interlocutor to the EU institutions and a key driver of media policy debates in the European Union.