News Media Europe

News Media Europe adopts its Position Paper on the Digital Services Act proposal

NME news , May 6, 2021

Position paper on the Digital Services Act proposal  

News Media Europe adopted its position paper on the Digital Services Act (download here). News Media Europe considers that the DSA is more than a rulebook for platform liability and content moderation. The DSA is really about European digital, cultural and democratic sovereignty and has a direct impact on the news media sector.

We see the DSA as a unique opportunity for news media companies to get clarity over content moderation rules, further develop their business models online and be in a better position to innovate and enrich the European digital media landscape, while continuing to fulfil its democratic mandate. In this regard, transparency obligations, as well as increased liability, would have a positive effect on the position of platforms in the ecosystem vis-a-vis third parties, including news media companies.

The recommendations in the paper include:

  1. Favour a function-orientated approach to the scope and clarify that press publishers are not intermediation services by nature and fulfill a specific democratic function that must be protected.
  2. Make online platforms genuinely more responsible and proactive in the fight against illegal content through a muscled secondary liability and better cooperation with press publishers.
  3. Stress that the notice-and-take-down mechanism strictly focuses on illegal content, as defined by national and European laws. As such, lawful press content should not be taken down by intermediaries.
  4. Prevent online intermediaries from imposing their terms and conditions or community standards on editorial news to avoid double scrutiny or conflict with editorial decisions.
  5. Address the impact of VLOPs on media freedom and access to information with more precise mitigation obligations (transparency and notification requirements and a rule of non-interference).
  6. Ensure that new responsible advertising rules do not undermine existing and effective laws and self- regulatory codes of conduct applied by the press sector.
  7. The country-of-origin principle should allow for the free dissemination of news content. Yet strengthened cooperation between national regulators should provide for effective enforcement and simplification of rules at EU level.

For further information, please contact:

Wout van Wijk (Executive Director):

Aurore Raoux (Policy Manager):

News Media Europe represents the progressive news media industry in Europe – over 2,500 media companies including newspapers, radio, television and internet. News Media Europe is committed to promoting the freedom of the press, enhancing the freedom to publish, and to championing the news brands, which are one of the most vital parts of Europe’s creative industries.