Mathew Lowry

A short post on the financial costs of not having a European Public Sphere.

@voxdotcom did a 4-minute summary of Obama’s 2016 #sotu (State of the Union):

Here in Brussels, the @EU_Commission did a “Highlights” video of Juncker’s #SOTEU which, like all EC videos, cannot be embedded by popular WordPress-based blogging platforms like this one (I’m sure they’ve got a good reason for this, right?).

Before you try, don’t waste your time comparing the two – you can’t. On the one you have something produced by a real media about a political speech on a necessarily low budget, viewed ~100,000 times; on the other you have something considerably more polished and edited, produced by the politician’s own team, viewed a little over 31,000 times.

What’s instructive is the fact that the Commission’s efforts were necessary at all – I’ve yet to see any ‘real media’ bothering with a ‘best of #soteu’, although if someone can point me to one I’d be glad to add it here.

If not, this does illustrate the cost of not having a functioning European public sphere – instead of relying on it to support and carry the debate, the Institutions must resort to increasingly expensive measures to get their message out. Quite apart from the cost to democracy, this stuff costs money to make.

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  1. Quibble with “must resort … to get their message out”. What if they simply recognised that there is no imperative and then they might spot that the soteu exercise is just a hyped up report from a secretariat to that famous oxymoron, the European Parliament 🙂

  2. Quibble away. Whether you agree or not with the idea that they should get their message out, the fact that they went to the trouble of creating this video shows that they want to get their message out, which is more expensive than it would be if there was a functioning public sphere.

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