The project is structured around three work packages:
The first work package analyzes the different conceptions that underlie current regulatory debates on issues ranging from the accountability of social media platforms to national media policies. It clarifies the different uses of the concepts of freedom of expression and communication rights and analyzes the normative implications of these varying uses. It will utilize methods from policy analysis and comparative constitutional law, including analyses of court cases, laws, and policy documents, as well as interviews with authorities and legal experts responsible for legislation and regulatory practices.
The second work package analyzes challenges caused by digital disruption from the perspective of legacy media. It will interview journalists and members of the Council for Mass Media on journalists’ self-perceptions, practices, and ethical considerations. It will also study how public service broadcasting has responded to these challenges and how technological innovations, such as news automation and artificial intelligence, entail challenges regarding algorithmic transparency, accountability, and media ethics.
The third work package is about challenges of social media and “fake” or “counter-” media. Social media platforms are mostly owned by international companies, such as Facebook and Alphabet (Google, YouTube), while “fake”/“counter-” media sites are run by diverse actors often motivated by nationalist or populist aims. This work package will study self-regulatory practices of these sites, as well as their users’ and administrators’ views on communication rights and regulatory policies.