OpenMedia seeks to assess and expose corporate influence on the media and to confront powerful and entrenched threats to independent reporting across Europe.  

OpenMedia, launched by the global website openDemocracy, investigates how commercial interests influence editorial decisions across European media – whether that influence comes through advertising relationships, ownership models, or any other levers that affect the independence and impartiality of reporting. The openMedia team will identify and challenge hidden practices, uncover and publicize the facts, and find collaborative solutions to tackle this threat to independent media.

OpenMedia supports Democracy and Media Foundation’s mission to invest in strong, critical media. As UK commentator Peter Oborne wrote when he resigned from the Daily Telegraph, alleging the paper had ‘gone soft’ in its reporting on a major advertising client, HSBC: ‘There are great issues here. They go to the heart of our democracy, and can no longer be ignored.’

In 2016, openDemocracy launched Phase One of this pioneering, pan-European project: the work to map commercial bias and censorship in media; to investigate allegations; to prototype digital tools for the public; and to advocate greater media industry transparency.

Working in partnership with Index on Censorship, the European Federation of Journalists, Reporters without Borders, and The Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at King’s College London, openMedia is currently surveying journalists from 43 countries across Europe in 10 different languages to get a cross-continental picture.