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Indicators of Risks to Media Pluralism

Media Audience Concentration

This indicator assesses the concentration of audience and readership across media platforms based on audience share. Concentration is measured by using the Top 4 owners in the market.

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

There are few sources in Colombia for measuring audience share—the number of people who consume a form of media. Those that do exist have limitations.

EGM results are based on the application of a survey on the media consumed by the population in a given period. Unlike traditional audience share methodology, EGM does not measure consumption time, and respondents can nominate more than one media type.

Television:

MOM results show that audience concentration in the television sector is very high. While 43 channels concentrate 22.8% of the audience, the remaining 77.2% of the audience is concentrated in just four national channels: Caracol, RCN, City TV, and RCN Telenovelas. In terms of ownership, commercial channels belonging to the Organización Ardila Lülle and the Grupo Empresarial Santo Domingo concentrate 74% of the national, regional and local television audience. Adding the channels of the El Tiempo publishing house owned by Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo (City TV and El Tiempo) and the Public Media System channels (RTVC), the figure rises to 86%.

MOM methodology only considers national television channels with relevant content. However, in Colombia international paid subscription channels are very significant, capturing 50% of the audience.

Radio:

MOM results show that audience concentration by ownership in the radio sector is excessively high. The broadcasters with the highest audience shares belong to large economic and media groups whose owners are important businesspeople with significant political, social, and economic influence at national and regional level. ERM 2014 third wave results show that stations owned by the Organización Ardila Lülle and by Grupo Prisa account for 59% of the total radio audience in the country. Adding stations belonging to the Organización Radial Olímpica brings the total shared across just three organizations to 73% of the total. Adding a fourth (Radiopolis) brings the total to 79%.

There is a disparity between the conditions in which small and medium stations compete by comparison with the large broadcasters owned by the major media groups. Content specialization (i.e. establishing stations with targeted content) is an example. This strategy is used by the large radio channels to diversify their product to attract a larger audience.

Press:

The same publishing houses that produce traditional newspapers also own the popular and free titles and thus control the whole market: the free ADN newspaper is owned by the El Tiempo Publishing House; the popular Al Día newspaper is owned by Casa Editorial El Heraldo; the popular Q'hubo newspaper is owned by the Grupo Nacional de Medios (GNM) (GNM), and; the popular Extra newspaper is owned by the Grupo Editorial El Periódico, which also publishes Diario del Sur and Diario del Cauca. The free Publimetro newspaper was introduced to the country through an alliance with GNM, although the latter has sold their share (49%) to Metro Internacional, which now controls 100% of the media company.

There is excessively high audience concentration in the sector. The audience share in the press sector of the two most important groups totals 61%, and when the next two groups are added (OLCSA, GNM, El Heraldo SA and the Grupo Nacional de Medios) the total rises to 74% (MOM considers the concentration of audience in a sector to be high when the audience share of the four largest groups is greater than 50%). The media of the El Tiempo Publishing House concentrates 31% of readers, while GNM—through the Q'hubo popular newspaper reaches 30% of readers, a figure that rises to 39% by adding media produced independently by family members: El País de Cali (Lloreda family); El Colombiano and La República (Gómez & Hernández family); Vanguardia Liberal (Galvis family, which also is a shareholder in well-known traditional regional newspapers such as El Nuevo Día of Ibagué, El Universal of Cartagena, La Tarde of Pereira, and La Patria of Manizales. The El Heraldo Publishing House has the highest readership among the media companies controlled by families of the regional political elite. The families associated with GNM (the Lloreda family, the Galvis family, and the Gómez & Hernández family of Antioquia) also own the country’s only press agency—COLPRENSA. Thus, ownership concentration also manifests through the production of news that circulates and is reproduced in the regional and national media. This runs contra to the goal of plurality of information.

Internet:

Although the internet is a very dynamic field in a constant state of change and transformation, the Alexa ranking and the figures reviewed by MOM show a trend towards audience concentration. While there are more than 650 digital news media in the country, the pages most consulted by Colombians are those of the digital versions of traditional media such as El Tiempo, El Espectador, RCN, etc., owned by the major business groups and media organizations. Colombia replicates the results obtained in other studies in which, although the market barriers for internet are much lower, the most consumed pages still belong to traditional media.

Independent pages do exist but in most cases lack a sustainable finance model and thus depend on external sources.

 

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Audience concentration in television (horizontal) 
Percentage: 86 % (Organización Ardilla Lülle, Valorem, Casa Editorial El Tiempo y RTVC)
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Radio (horizontal) 
Percentage: 79% (Organización Ardilla Lülle, Grupo Prisa, Organización Radial Olímpica y Radiopolis)
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in print (horizontal) 
Percentage:  74 % (OLSCA, Grupo Nacional de Medios y el Heraldo)
If within one country the major 4 Owners have a readership share below 25%. If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a readership share above 50%. 
Audience concentration in Internet (horizontal) 
Percentage: not assessed
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 

Media Market Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the horizontal ownership concentration based on market share which illustrates the economic power of companies/ groups. Concentration is measured for each media sector by adding the market shares of the major owners in the sector.

Result:

As economic data on market shares does not exist for the Colombian market, ownership concentration could not be assessed.

LOW MEDIUM HIGH 
Media market concentration in television (horizontal): This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the TV media sector. 
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in radio (horizontal) : This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the Radio media sector.    
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have an audience share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in newspapers (horizontal) : This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership within the print  sector.
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%. 
Media market concentration in Internet Content Providers 
Percentage: not assessed    
If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share below 25%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share between 25% and 49%.  If within one country the major 4 owners (Top4) have a market share above 50%.  

Regulatory Safeguards: Media Ownership Concentration

This indicator is intended to assess the existence and effective application of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/or competition law) in contrast to a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the different media companies.

Regulatory Safeguard Score:
0 out of 20 – High Risk (0%).
1 = media-specific regulation/ authority
0.5= competition-related regulation/ authority

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

Not all media and telecommunications regulations contain specific thresholds or limits on horizontal ownership concentration of ownership. There are specific frameworks for press, radio, and television while the overarching Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) has no authority to intervene on cross cutting competition issues.

In the case of audiovisual media, state intervention to prevent monopolistic practices in the use of the electromagnetic spectrum is subject to the competition regime of the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC).

In the case of the internet, platforms are assessed as networks and Internet service providers, under Law 1341 of 2009.

Score: 2 of 20 = 10%

Table summarizes TV/Radio/Online/Print - Max. score: 4 per sector.    DescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds or limits, based on objective criteria (e.g. number of licenses, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue) to prevent a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in this sector?     This question aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the TELEVISION/RADIO sector.    

X

 

 

Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with the thresholds in the print sector and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.    

 0,5

 
Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

- Refusal of additional licences;

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture.    

 

  X

  

Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    

No

Total 

 2of 16

 

Media MergersDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Can a high level of horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?    

This question aims to access the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector specific and/or competition law) against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the media sector through merging operations: 

- By containing media-specific provision that impose stricter thresholds than in other sectors;

- The mandatory intervention of a media authority in merger and acquisition cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

- The possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the communication authority for reasons of media pluralism (or public interest in general), that - even tough they do not contain media-specific provisions - do not exclude the media sector from their scope of application. 

  X
Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with rules on mergers and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)?     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system.          X
Does the law grant this body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims of assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as; 

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition; 

- obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture

      X
Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     This indicator aims to assess the effective implementation of sector-specific remedies against a high horizontal concentration of ownership and/or control in the television media.    No

Total 0 of 4

Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the concentration of ownership in the different sectors: television, newspapers, radio and any other relevant type of media in the media industry (cross-media). The concentration is measured using the Top8 concentration measure.

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

Under MOM methodology, the ownership indicator is obtained by adding the income share of the eight largest media groups in the different sectors (television, press, radio and internet). However, information regarding the group's income share is not available in Colombia. In order to derive an estimate, the EGM was used in order to calculate the cross-cutting ownership by audience share. It was not possible to include the internet sector because of lack of data.

The EGM shows that the eight most important concentrate 78% of the audience in radio, press, and television. The two largest media groups (according to audience share) are the Organización Ardila Lülle S.A. with 28.7%, and Valorem S.A. with 19.5%.

Accordingly, transversal concentration of the media in the country is very high. This phenomenon is a reflection of the high concentration of audience present in all sectors. It is evident from the ranking tables in each sector that only the highest placed media achieve a truly significant audience share.

Three financial groups (Sarmiento Angulo, Ardila Lülle and Valorem) concentrate the cross-cutting share at national level. At the regional level, the Grupo Nacional de Medios (and the families that own it) controls the press sector.

Although there is no data for the Internet sector, given the strong relationship between traditional media and its digital version, cross-cutting ownership concentration would increase even further were it to be included.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Percentage 78 %
If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share below 50% across the different media sectors.  If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have an audience share between 50% and 69% across the different media sectors.  If within one country the major 8 owners (Top8) have a market share above 70% across the different media sectors. 

 

Regulatory Safeguards: Cross-media Ownership Concentration

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership between media types (press, TV, radio, internet).

1 = media-specific regulation/ authority

0.5= competition-related regulation/ authority

Regulatory Safeguard Score:

1 out of 8 (Regulation: 12, 5%).

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

While the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio has general responsibility for the media sector, there is little legal control of cross media ownership concentration because each media type has separate legislation and is overseen by a different authority.

In the case of the internet, the networks supporting operations and the means implemented on this platform should be considered.

CROSS-MEDIA OWNERSHIPDescriptionYesNoNAMD
Does the media legislation contain specific thresholds, based on objective criteria, such as number of licences, audience share, circulation, distribution of share capital or voting rights, turnover/revenue, to prevent a high degree of cross-ownership between the different media?     This indicator aims to assess the existence of regulatory safeguards (sector-specific and/or competition law) against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors.      X
Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these thresholds and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media authority=1, competition authority=0,5))     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation on audiovisual media concentration.    0,5
Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

The variable aims at assessing if the law is providing a due system of sanctions to sector-specific regulation, such as:

- Refusal of additional licences;

- Blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- Obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- Obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors

- divestiture.

  X
Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?    

the relevant authority never uses its sanctioning powers

The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies provided by the regulation.    
  X
Can a high degree of cross-ownership between different media be prevented via merger control/competition rules that take into account the specificities of the media sector?    

For instance, cross-ownership can be prevented by comptetion law:

- by the mandatory intervention of a media authority in M&A cases (for instance, the obligation for the competition authority to ask the advice of the media authority);

- by the possibility to overrule the approval of a concentration by the competition authority for reasons of media pluralism (or Public interest in general);
 Even though the law does not contain media-specific provisions - it does not exclude the media sector from its scope of application
  X
Is there an administrative authority or judicial body actively monitoring compliance with these rules and/or hearing complaints? (e.g. media and/or competition authority)     This variable aims to assess if the law/regulation provides a due monitoring and sanctioning system for the regulation against a high degree of cross-ownership in different media sectors via merger control/competition rules     0,5 
Does the law grant body sanctioning/enforcement powers in order to impose proportionate remedies (behavioural and/or structural) in case of non-respect of the thresholds?    

Examples sanctioning/enforcement powers and remedies:

- blocking of a merger or acquisition;

- obligation to allocate windows for third party programming;

- must carry obligation to give up licences/activities in other media sectors;

- divestiture. 

  X
Are these sanctioning/enforcement powers effectively used?     The question aims at assessing the effectiveness of the remedies of the regulation.      No

Total
                                                                                                              1 of 8

Ownership Transparency

This indicator assesses the transparency of data about the political affiliations of media owners as ownership transparency is a crucial precondition to enforce media pluralism.

Results: MEDIUM RISK

Why?

The transparency of the ownership data and financial information is on the whole quite low. Other than companies listed on the stock exchange (which are obliged to publish data) information is hard to find. Information from the Chamber of Commerce is also limited, to the extent that only certain types of companies are obliged to report. And the search is a costly because the database must be interrogated company by company. In cities such as Bogotá and Pasto the database search in free whereas in others (Barranquilla for example) a fee applies. To test the transparency of the companies and with the objective of obtaining information directly from the source, the team sent formal letters to the media companies requesting information on their financial status, share composition, and management structure.

Notable results include:

• Of the forty (40) letters sent, only five (5) received a full and satisfactory response. The media organizations that responded were La Silla Vacía, Teleantioquia, RTVC (for Canal Uno and Señal Colombia), Canal Capital and Canal 13;

• Other than La Silla Vacía, these are public organization and as such are obliged to provide the requested information;

• El Heraldo provided a partial response with general information about the newspaper;

• The digital medium Minuto 30 replied by indicating its decision not to provide the request information. Individual ownership is disguised in cases where shares in a media company are owned by other media companies, who in turn are owned by other companies. The complexity increases in cases where the main shareholders are companies registered abroad (particularly in Panama). The extent to which these structures arise in an attempt to hide information (as opposed to purely financial reasons) is unknown. The financial statements of the largest media companies are available since the Companies Superintendency publishes annually a general stock take of 26,227 companies, However, smaller media companies are less likely be included on the list. Information on the affiliated interests board members and shareholders was based on press reports since the companies companies themselves generally do not publish the data. Although the public is generally aware of which are the largest business groups in the country, there is a curious the lack of interest in the owners of the media organizations, and the degree of concentration or pluralism. The work undertaken by certain academic and independent projects which publish information about companies in articles and web portals is noteworthy. The absence of a public database with easy access that allows interested parties to access information on the interests of media companies is striking and serves to highlight to the importance of the work carried out by the MOM.

 

LOWMEDIUMHIGH

How would you assess the transparency and accessibility of data about the media ownership?

Active Transparency – 8.1 %
Passive Transparency – 2.7 %
Data Publicly Available – 56.8 %
Data Unavailable – 32.4 %
Active Disguise - 0 %

Data on media owners as well as their political affiliations is publicly available and transparent.

(Active Transparency)

Code if that applies to > 75% of the sample

Data of media owners and their political affiliations are disclosed based on investigations of journalists and media activists or upon request.

(Passive Transparency, Publicly Available)

Code if that applies > 50% of the sample. 

Data on political affiliations of media owners are not easily accessible by the public and investigative journalists of activists are not successful in disclosing these data.

(Data Unavailable, Active Disguise)

Code if data is available for < 50% of the sample 

Regulatory Safeguards: Ownership Transparency

This indicator aims to assess the existence and effective implementation of transparency and disclosure provisions with regard to media ownership and/or control.

Result: HIGH RISK

Why?

Transparency of the ownership data and financial information is in generak quite low. Information is hard to find, except for the biggest companies that are listed on the stock exchange and thus are obliged to publish data.

This does not apply to media companies /outlets on the regional level. No financial or ownership information is available on any of the media websites. One reason may be the reliance on market regulation and the lack of any specific state regulation.

As Internet use does not constitute a communications media and is unregulated, it is impossible to obtain consolidated reports on audience and consumption. Unlike radio and television, no entity has responsibility for tracking user preferences or monitoring indicators such as clicks, visitor numbers, or minutes online. Media consumption information is not publicly available and remains in private hands.

The difficulty of finding relevant information highlights the need for an easily accessible public database that enables interested parties to access media company information.

Regulatory Safeguard Score:

2 out of 20 – HIGH Risk (only 10% of regulations).

Table shows TV, radio, press, online summarized. Max. score: 5 per sector.

 

Transparency Provisions

Yes

+

No

-

N/A

MD

 

Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to publish their ownership structures on their website or in records/documents that are accessible to the public?

X

 

 

 

Existence (E)

Does national (media, company, tax...) law contain transparency and disclosure provisions obliging media companies to report (changes in) ownership structures to public authorities (such as the media authority)?

X

 

 

Is there an obligation by national law to disclose relevant information after every change in ownership structure?

X

 

 

Are there any sanctions in case of non-respect of disclosure obligations?

 

X

 

 

Effective Implementation

Total (Mean of L-e und L-I sub-indicators)

 2 out of 20

 

 

 

(Political) Control Over Media Outlets and Distribution Networks

This indicator assesses the risk of political affiliations and control over media and distribution networks. It also assesses the level of discrimination by politically affiliated media distribution networks. Discriminatory actions would for example include unfavorable pricing and posing barriers to media accessing the distribution channel. Political Affiliations means that the media outlet or company belongs to a party, a partisan group, a party leader or a clearly partisan person.

Result: HIGH

Why?

There are strong links between the Colombian mass media and the elite ruling politics as well as other businesses. Media owners actively participate in the public and political sphere either through holding an office themselves or close family ties with office holding persons or members of the board in political offices. Those links include the biggest media companies such as Organisación Ardilla Lülle, El Colombiano S.A. (and thus the Grupo Nacional de Medios), Organización Radial Olímpica, El País and Publicaciones Semana, as well as some smaller media outlets like Cable Noticias TV and the newsportal 2 Orillas.

Though the extent, to which Colombian media and politics influence one another cannot be determined through the MOM, there are cases known in which offices are claimed to be connected to business retribution and nepotism, as in the case of Carlos Ardilla Lülle.

In many cases, direct or indirect links do not lead clearly to targeted discriminatory actions, however, due to the many existing links, they pose a potential risk to media pluralism.

Find an overview of Media Owners with relations to politics below:

Carlos Ardilla Lülle: Carlos Ardilla Lülle is the owner and founder of the Organisación Ardilla Lülle, a media company to which several outlets of the TV, Radio and Online sector belong and that has a high audience reach especially in the TV sector. His son was ambassador for Colombia in Spain (1998 – 2001) during the presidency of his also close friend Andrés Pastrana, which is said to have contributed to his appointment as ambassador is said to have responded to this friendship and a retribution for the collaboration by the Organización Ardila Lülle to the presidential campaign. In 2001, he resigned this post, most likely as a result of a request of the Colombian government to suspend a programm including interviews by the heads of the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) and when the Canal didn’t, the government considered the negotiation in San Vicente del Caguán jeopardized when the program aired. It is worth mentioning that Ardila Gaviria is close to the journalist Claudia Gurisatti, whom he recently appointed news director of Canal RCN. Ardila Lülle also supported the campaigns to the mayor of Cartagena of Campo Elías Terán and Dionisio Vélez.

Alejandro Galvis Ramírez: He is shareholder of the Grupo Nacional de Medios (along with the Lloreda of Valle del Cauca and the Gómez & Hernández of Antioquia (through the holding company El Colombiano), owning the famous newspaper Q’hubo. He is son of Alejandro Galvis Galviz, a political leader of the Liberal Party in the Santander Region, with a long career in public positions. Alejandro Galvis Ramírez mantained those ties to the Liberal Party.

Alejandro Char Chaljub: He is the owner of Organización Radial Olimpica (ORO), the company behind the radio channel Olímpica Stereo, with the highest audience reach in Colombia (21 %). His father is founder of ORO Fuad Char, Governor of Atlántico in 1984 and Minister of Development between 1986–1990, ambassador in Portugal (2007 – 2008) and Senator of the Republic in several occasions (1992-1994; 1994-1998; 1998-2002; 2002-2006). He began his political career at the Colombian Liberal Party, but in 2004 he contributed to the founding of Cambio Radical. In 2014, the magazine Dinero ranked him as one of the five worst senators in the country. Alejandro Char himself was elected mayor of Barranquilla (2008-2011) and very popular at the end of his term. He was reelected in 2015 for the Party “Cambio Radical” (Radical Change)). His uncle was Ambassador to the Dominican Republic in the first administration of Juan Manuel Santos.

Felipe Lopez Cabellero: He is owner and founder of Publicaciones Semana, releasing Revista Semana, an influetial opinion publication in Colombia, with 16 % of audience reach. His father is Alfonso López Michelsen and his grandfather is Alfonso López Pumarejo, both former presidents of the country.

María Elvira Domínguez Lloreda: She is director of El Pais S.A.. There is a strong conservative political orientation in her family – she is related to Rodrigo Lloreda Caicedo, a conservative politician from the Valle del Cauca and Francisco José Lloreda Mera, who has had a long career in public service and the current President of the Colombian Petroleum Association. • Luis Miguel de Bedout Hernández Owner and founder of the newspaper El Colombiano, the economic newspaper La República and the press agency Colprensa. As owner of El Colombiano S.A., he is also shareholder of Grupo Nacional de Medios. He is the nephew of the former conservative senator Jorge Hernández Restrepo.

Martha Ortiz Gomez: One of the founders of El Colombiano, and thus shareholder of Grupo Nacional de Medios. She went through a crisis within the publishing group because of the strong Uribista tendency of Ana María Gómez (which the Hernández family, also owner of El Colombiano S.A.) did not approve of. Her uncle, Juan Gómez Martínez, is the son of the conservative politician and founder of the El Colombiano newspaper, Fernando Gómez Martínez. He was mayor of Medellín for two terms (1988-1990) (1997-2000), governor of Antioquia (1992-1994), Minister of Transport (1994-1996), Ambassador to the United Nations (1996), Senator of the Republic (2002-2004) and Ambassador to the Vatican (2006). He is politically related with Fabio Valencia Cossio and Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Martha Ortíz Gomez aunt, Ana Mercedes Gómez was elected senator in 2014 for the Uribista Party of Democratic Centers Centro Democrático.

María Bonilla Elvira Otolla: Director of the newsportal 2 Orillas and married to Juan Manuel Ospina Restrepo, the granson of the former president Pedro Nel Ospina, Ex-Senator for the Conservative Party (1998-2002) and presidential advisor during the governement of Belisario Betancur (1985-1986).

Alberto Federico Ravell: Owner of Cable Noticias TV S.A.S., along with Tobías Carrero Nácar. He is known as opponent to the government of Venezuela and was media director of different electoral campaigns, among which stands out that of Carlos Andrés Pérez to the Presidency of Venezuela in 1974, for the Partido Acción Democrática, of which his father Alberto Ravell was the founder. He has held various public positions in the field of communications, being Director of the Office of Central Information of the Venezuelan National Government (1974) and Director of Canal 8, Venezolana de Televisión – VTV (1984)

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
POLITICATION OF MEDIA OUTLETS    
What is the share of TV / radio / online/ print media owned by politically affiliated entities?
The media having <30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.     The media having <50% - >30% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.  The media having >50% audience share is owned (controlled) by a specific political party, politician or political grouping, or by an owner with specific political affiliation.    

 

Political control over media distribution networks
The overall level of (political) control over media outlets and distribution networks was assessed as a medium risk to media pluralism. A leading distribution network is defined as a network covering more than 15% of the national market.

Result:

Why?
Political control over leading distribution networks is LOW - as they are either internationally based, or are run as businesses rather than public utilities.

The print publications are distributed by national and local postal services, for the Operador Postal Oficial (OPO) and Servicios Postales Nacionales S.A., both state entities, are responsible. TV Networks are directly related to the frequencies that are distributed by the Autoridad Nacional de Televisión (ANTV), which is a governmental body providing public service for television channels and programs. It has been founded according to the Law 1507 from 2012 dealing with the distribution of state competencies in the TV sector – it deals mainly with programming issues and is not a technical distribution network, as those are independent from the government. Tigo-UNE and Claro (owned by the Mexican Company Telmex) are the leading cable providers in Colombia. No political affiliations could be found for those two companies.

No relevant information was found on radio distribution.

Internet Service Providers are the distribution networks behind the Internet. There are numerous internet distribution networks – the leading providers here are Claro (cable modem), UNE-EPM(DSL and cable modem), Movistar and ETB (DSL), for whom also no political links could be established.

 

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
How would you assess the conduct of the leading distribution networks for print media? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.     At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.     All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.    
How would you assess the conduct of the leading radio distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions.     At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.     All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.    
How would you assess the conduct of the leading television distribution networks? 
Leading distribution, are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions. 
How would you assess the conduct of the leading Internet distribution networks? 
Leading distribution networks are not politically affiliated or do not take discriminatory actions. At least one of the leading distribution networks is politically affiliated or takes occasional discriminatory actions.  All of the leading distribution networks are politically affiliated and has a record of repeated discriminatory actions.  

(Political) Control Over Media Funding

This indicator assesses the influence of the state on the functioning of the media market, focusing particularly on the risk of discrimination in the distribution of state advertisements. The discrimination can be reflected in favoritism towards political parties or affiliates of political parties in the government, or in penalization of media criticizing the government. State advertising is understood as any advertising paid by governments (national, regional, local) and state-owned institutions and companies.

Results: not assigned

Why?

Regulations covering advertising distribution or related transparency standards are non-existant in Colombia.

Although some general data was published in 2012 on the government media advertising, there is no information on the distribution of government advertising in the media.

The system of government advertising is decentralized. Line agencies and regional governments advertise autonomously and use audience criteria when making their advertising choices (noting that the largest media groups concentrate most of the audience). In some regions, however, local governments use official guidelines to reward or punish media that have been insufficiently friendly or have been critical of their efforts.

According to the Informe contratación en publicidad (Advertising procurement report) of the Comptroller's Office (2014), 65% of advertising resources advertising were concentrated in six ministries in 2012: Ministry of Information Technology (21%); Ministry of National Defense (9%); Ministry of Agriculture (9%); Ministry of Industry and Commerce (9%); Ministry of Labor (9%); and Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (7%).

There is an important disparity in government advertising: large media companies receive advertising from large private sector companies and thus do not depend on government advertising, whereas small media companies are highly dependent on it and thus require a more equitable distribution.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH
Is the state advertising distributed to media proportionately to their audience share? 
State advertising is distributed to the media relatively proportionately to the audience shares of media. State advertising is distributed disproportionately (in terms of audience share) to the media.State advertising is distributed exclusively to few media outlets, which do not cover al major media outlets in the country. 
How would you assess the rules of distribution of state advertising?    
State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on transparent rules.     State advertising is distributed to media outlets based on a set of rules but it is unclear whether they are transparent.     There are no rules regarding distribution of state advertising to media outlets or these.   
IMPORTANCE OF STATE ADVERTISING    

What is the share of state advertising as part of the overall TV / Radio / Print/ online advertising market? 

VALUE: There is no data available on the share of state advertising in the market.  

Share of state advertising is <5% of the overall market.    Share of state advertising is 5%-10% of the overall market.     Share of state advertising is > 10% of the overall market.·  

(Political) Control Over News Agencies

This indicator assesses the range and independence of competing news agencies, including the assessment of the level of state ownership and level of independence of state owned news agencies.

Risk: HIGH RISK

Why?

Faced with the ownership and independence of the country's news agencies, the MOM confirmed the existence of a single news agency in Colombia: COLPRENSA. This agency is owned by three powerful press families: Lloreda (Valle) - linked to the conservatives, Galvis (Santander) - linked to the liberal party - and Gómez & Hernández (Antioquia), with links to politics on different administrational levels (embassadors, senators etc.). Each of those families dominates the media n its local regions.

LOWMEDIUMHIGH

What is the market share of the leading news agency?

VALUE: 100 % 

No news agency dominates the market (occupy >30% of the market of news agencies).  One news agency has <50% ≥30% share of the market of news agencies.  The leading news agency has ≥50% market share.    
How would you evaluate the political affiliation and/or dependence of the largest news agency? 
None of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy.     At least one of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy.     Most or all of the largest news agencies is dependent on political groupings in terms of ownership, affiliation of key personnel or editorial policy.    
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