From 1st to 3rd March, the 12 partner institutions of EUMEPLAT, European media platforms: assessing positive and negative externalities for European culture, met online for the kick-off meeting.
The project, funded in the framework of the Horizon 2020 Programme, will run from March 2021 to February 2024. It is coordinated by IULM-International University of Language and Media (Italy) and gathers 11 other partners from 10 countries: Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow Institut (Germany), New Bulgarian University (Bulgaria), UNIMED-Mediterranean Universities Union (Italy), Foundation for the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), Ghent University (Belgium), Bilkent University (Turkey), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), Iscte-University Institute of Lisbon (Portugal), Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy), IKED Association (Sweden), Charles University (Czech Republic).
The main goal of the project is to analyze the role of media platforms in shaping a European identity, to identify best practices, and provide policy-makers with a better understanding of critical aspects of contemporary media landscape.
The partners will focus on the “platformization” process, so as to inquire its positive and negative externalities, functional and dis-functional consequences in three fields: news, video sharing and media representations. The research question is whether or not new platforms – YouTube, Netflix, NewsFeed – are making European culture more European, based on indicators related to production, consumption and representation. Patterns will be detected by comparing national, regional and European level. Advanced methods will be applied for data analysis, so as to provide guidelines for decision-makers (i.e., fake news prevention; best practices in co-productions).
UNIMED will lead the work package on dissemination and communication and will contribute to the Report on Media Representation of Immigration in Italy along with IULM, organising also an event in 2022 to present all the national reports that will be produced on this topic.
The meeting was the occasion for the partners to get an overview of the project and its objectives, to clearly define the goals, workflow and timeline for each work package, to adopt some decisions concerning the establishment of both the Ethical Committee and the Scientific Board and the appointment of the Intellectual Property Manager, in the person of Raniero Chelli from UNIMED.
Francisco de la Torre Francia, EU Policy Coordinator at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, presented the political context that led to the launch of the European Democracy Action Plan, underlining the contribution that Horizon 2020 funded projects such as EUMEPLAT give in addressing the priorities of the EDAP with regard to the impact of the changing media landscapes on political and cultural Europeanisation.
After presenting the Research Executive Agency role, Jarkko Siren, EU Project Officer, introduced the main elements related to the management and implementation of the project.
The partners had also the opportunity to assist to the presentation of the projects MEDIATIZED EU, by Tanya Lokot from Dublin City University, and MEDIADELCOM, by Halliki Harro from the University of Tartu and to discuss about the synergies to be created among the three projects, all funded under the same action “Transformations-10-2020: Evolving European media landscapes and Europeanisation”.
Other operational meetings among the partners of EUMEPLAT are going to take place in the next weeks to further deepen the workplan of the work packages, looking forward to physically meeting all together in Milan for the first dissemination event, hopefully in the Summer.