Structural Media Pluralism| Spanish Media Concentration Policy: a Crucial Patchwork to Understand Spanish Media System

Carles Llorens


As a young democracy, Spain had huge expectations for media pluralism after the end of Franco’s dictatorship in 1975. However, structural and historical forces have imposed a more prosaic evolution, where the regulation of media concentration has had more to do with media groups’ interests than societal goals. At first, Spain’s media ownership regulations laid down important limitations on media ownership, but as technology developed, these constraints were progressively relaxed through a large set of complex legal amendments in non-specific legislative acts. However, the absence of cross-media ownership rules is crucial to the understanding of the Spanish media system’s dynamics and players. Spanish media have evolved from small newspaper companies to big multimedia groups. Fierce competition in an increasingly fragmented scenario is the result. This absence has led to the creation of five or six multimedia groups in Spain, which have made structural pluralism possible at a national level.

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