EUropean MEdia PLATforms: Assessing positive and negative externalities for european culture
The EUMEPLAT project aims at analyzing the role of media platforms in fostering or dismantling a common European identity. We will draw on a precise theoretical assumption, according to which European dimension has rarely been dominant in modern media history. The research question, overall, is whether or not new platforms – such as YouTube, Netflix, BuzzFeed, or Facebook NewsFeed – are making European culture more European related to media production, consumption, and representation. Patterns will be detected by comparing national, regional, continental, and global level. Advanced informatics methods will be applied for the aggregated analysis of data, so as to provide strategic guidelines for decision-makers (i.e., fake news prevention, or best practices in TV co-productions). Far from being a purely scientific project, EUMEPLAT will also pursue the more general goal of helping the rise of a new awareness of the role played by the media in shaping European identity.
Overall, EUMEPLAT counts with six main objectives. On the first place, it aims at furnishing detailed knowledge about the evolution of European media landscape. It also will come up with an operational definition of “Europeanisation”, and provide policy-makers with guidelines for addressing it as a strategic priority. Best-practices in cross-European cultural circulation will be identified, and an analysis of the representation of sensitive issues in ten countries will be conducted. The project will also suggest counter-measures for tackling negative externalities of platformization, with an emphasis on anti-European fake news. Finally, by drawing on all tendencies detected, coming out with an indication of the problems to be prioritized in the future agenda.
Open Evidence is in charge of WP4 – Exclusion: Platformization of Media Representations, which will study the media thematization of two critical issues for European common identity – immigration and gender. The research will be conducted in all countries represented in the EUMEPLAT consortium, and it will dig in a similar unanswered question, whether or not platformization and the spread of User Generated Contents have been changing the representation and the perception of social topics.