Media Governance between Law and Self-Regulation, 5. November, 2009, 16.30
 
The Second Section of the Symposium of the Austrian Academy of Sciences on “Media and Law”
 
The media market is rapidly changing. The traditionally dominant media of the past decades are being superseded by newer “Push” and “Pull” media, more integrated media strategies and original content production. The forces of competition, previously constrained by several factors, have been unleashed on the market. This competition is intensifying with greater media saturation and the colossal changes in the working conditions of the journalists.
 
In this changing landscape, we must question whether the media is still fulfilling its role in society? How the media is embracing its role and the causes, if any, for its failure to fulfil its role? These important questions provide the starting point for the second symposium of the Austrian Academy of Sciences on “Media and Law”.
 
The symposium will address a number of prominent issues in media law. The pivotal issue for this symposium is whether it is possible in the current media climate to realise freedom of the press as it is conceived in constitutional law. Similarly, the problem of effectively regulating the media, which transcends the sphere or media law alone, will be addressed.
 
The borders of the current legal regulations and the potential changes to the law in the new draft media law will be discussed. The symposium will also address broader issues of “Media Governance” including the use of instruments of self-regulation, envisioned for online media in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, as a means of assuring quality and responsibility. The resurrection of the press council, which was virtually defunct since 2001, and the possibility of introducing a comprehensive control mechanism encompassing all media sectors with greater accountability and enforcement competence will be discussed.
 
The Social Sciences Research Centre of the Austrian Academy of Sciences will hold this discussion on “Media Governance” in Austria on 5. November, 2009, 16.30 at the Academy (1010 Wien, Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2).
The lectures will be given by Prof. Dr. Walter Berka from the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of the University of Salzburg and Pro-rector Prof. Dr. Otfried Jarren from the Department of Journalism and Media Research of the University of Zurich. The discussion will be chaired by Hon. Prof. Dr. Irmgard Griss the President of the Austrian Supreme Court.