Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is MOM?

The “Media Ownership Monitor” (MOM) has been developed as a mapping tool in order to create a publicly available, continuously updated database that lists owners of all relevant mass media outlets (press, radio, television sectors and online media).

MOM aims to shed light on the risks to media pluralism caused by media ownership concentration for more information: Methodology. In order to grasp the national characteristics and detect risk-enhancing or risk-reducing factors for media concentration, MOM also qualitatively assesses the market conditions and legal environment.

2. Who is behind MOM?

MOM has been proposed and launched by Reporter ohne Grenzen e. V. – the German section of the international human rights organization Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), that aims to defend freedom of the press and the right to inform and be informed anywhere in the world.

In 2019, the project was spun-off to the Global Media Registry (GMR), an independent, non-for profit social enterprise registered under German law.

In each country, GMR cooperates with a local partner organization. In Kosovo, GMR worked with Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN Kosovo). The project is funded by the European Union.

3. Where can I download this report?

The website affords a PDF download containing all website content. The PDF is automatically generated and thus updated on a daily base. It exists for all website languages. In order to generate the PDF, scroll down to the website footer, choose your preferred language and “Download complete website as PDF”.

4. Why is transparency of media ownership important?

Media pluralism is a key aspect of democratic societies as free, independent, and diverse media reflect divergent viewpoints and allow criticism of people in power. Risks to diversity of ideas are caused by media market concentration, when only a few players exert dominant influence on public opinion and raise entrance barriers for other players and perspectives (media ownership concentration). The biggest obstacle to fight it is lack of transparency of media ownership: How can people evaluate the reliability of information, if they don´t know who provides it? How can journalists work properly, if they don´t know who controls the company they work for? And how can media authorities address excessive media concentration, if they don´t know who is behind the media´s steering wheel?

MOM thus aims to create transparency and to answer the question “who eventually controls media content?” in order to raise public awareness, to create a fact base for advocacy to hold political and economic players accountable for the existing conditions.

As we consider ownership transparency as a crucial precondition to enforce media pluralism, we document the openness of media companies/outlets to provide information on their ownership structure. Considering their answers, we distinguish different levels of transparency – which is indicated for each media outlet and media company on their profile.

Media owner’s motivation to remain hidden or even actively disguise their investments can vary from legitimate to illegal and be rooted in personal, legal or business-related reasons – or a mix thereof, in extreme cases even including criminal offenses like tax evasion or breaches of anti-trust laws.

Some of those reasons include the following:

  • In several countries, media ownership is restricted by law in order to avoid concentration. So, if one individual wants to extend his or her media empire beyond these limits, proxy owners and/or shell companies registered abroad, even off-shore, are frequently being used.
  • Sometimes, media owners receive personal threats or face other dangers either originating from governments or competing businesses and therefore decide to remain unknown to protect themselves.
  • In many cases, media ownership is intertwined with undue political and / or economic interests, even more so if individuals involved hold public office and do not want to disclose such a conflict of interests.
  • In rare cases, the disguise of media ownership happens unintentionally because over time and through mergers and acquisitions, corporate structures became so complex that the original beneficial owner is difficult to identify.
  • Last but not least, there are ‘normal’ – i. e. non-media-related reasons for owners to hide, such as tax avoidance.

5. What kind of concentration regulation does MOM suggest?

MOM doesn’t make normative statements – it doesn’t suggest how to regulate media ownership. Which form of media concentration regulation can work, depends on the country context, the existing legal and market conditions, the ownership landscape.

MOM provides a transparency tool to enforce a democratic discussion on that issue as well as good governance: decisions are likely to be of higher quality and to better reflect the needs and wishes of the people if they have access to adequate information and broad consultations, with views and opinions freely shared.

6. How is data collected and validated?

Preferably, official data sources, and / or sources with a high level of reliability and trust are used. Whenever not publicly available, information was directly requested of media companies, institutional representatives and research institutes. All sources are thoroughly documented and archived in the Library. Further information is available upon request at BIRN Kosovo.

Information on ownership structures, shareholders and financial statements of media companies and related individual owners were obtained from the Kosovo Business Registry Agency. The register’s database is online and publicly accessible in the Albanian, English and Serbian languages.

MOM also sent information requests to all media companies included in the sample and FOI requests to the public broadcaster, RTK, the Ministry of Finance, Kosovo Business Registry Agency (ARBK), Tax Administration of Kosovo (ATK) and the Independent Media Commission (IMC).

In order to guarantee and verify the objective evaluation, MOM worked with an  advisory group that was commented on and consulted throughout the research process. It was composed of national specialists with substantial knowledge and experience in the media and communications fields.

BIRN Kosovo also shared key information of the research with the 44 media included in the sample, in order to validate the data and give them the right to reply. BIRN Kosovo reviewed each media response separately to ensure accuracy of the data and fair, equal and objective treatment of all selected media.

7. How is "most relevant media" defined?

The main question is: which media outlets influence the opinion-forming process? In order to scan all relevant media, we included all traditional media types (Print, Radio, TV, Online).

In the context of Kosovo's media ecosystem, "most relevant media" is defined by several key factors. This includes their ability to reach a significant portion of the population, both geographically and in audience size, as seen in television's share percentage and online media's social media outreach. The variety of their content is also crucial, spanning news, current affairs, and entertainment to provide a comprehensive view of the media landscape. These outlets are selected for their relevance in reflecting Kosovo's diverse social, political, economic, and cultural realities, catering to linguistic diversity with significant coverage in Albanian and Serbian. The engagement and interaction rates, particularly for online media and radio, indicate how effectively these outlets connect with their audience. Moreover, comprehensive and balanced coverage across these media ensures a broad and inclusive representation of news and events. The reliance on research and analytics, such as those provided by UBO Consulting, further underscores the selection of these outlets as the most relevant in influencing Kosovo's opinion-forming process, spanning traditional media types like print, radio, TV, and online platforms.

8. How are the media outlets selected?

The media outlets in the MOM (Media Ownership Monitor) project in Kosovo were selected based on the following criteria:

Reach: The ability of a media outlet to access a significant portion of the population. This includes both the geographical reach and the size of the audience that the outlet can influence. For television, this was measured by the share percentage and for online media, by their outreach on social media platforms.

Content Diversity: The variety of content offered by the media outlet was a key consideration. This includes a range of programming or articles covering different genres such as news, current affairs, entertainment, etc., to ensure a comprehensive view of the media landscape.

Relevance to Different Audiences: The media outlets were chosen for their ability to reflect the social, political, economic, and cultural realities of Kosovo. This involves ensuring that the media outlets cater to Kosovo's linguistic diversity, with a significant portion serving the Albanian-speaking majority, a smaller percentage catering to the Serbian-speaking minority, and others addressing other minority groups, such as Roma language.

Engagement and Interaction Rates: For online media and radio, the selection was partly based on their engagement and interaction rates, as determined by metrics from tools like CrowdTangle. This reflects how effectively these media outlets engage with their audience, especially on digital platforms.

Representation of both Albanian and Serbian Languages: Ensuring that both the major language groups in Kosovo are adequately represented in the selected media outlets was a critical aspect of the selection process.

Utilization of Research and Analytics: The selection process heavily relied on the research and analysis provided by firms like UBO Consulting. This data helped in understanding the performance, reach, and content diversity of different media outlets.

9. Why Kosovo?

In 2023, Kosovo ranked 56th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters without Borders, marking a significant improvement compared to its previous year's position at 61st. This index evaluates countries based on factors like media independence, legislative framework, social and security indicators. Kosovo scored 68.38 in this index, indicating a relatively favorable environment for press freedom compared to many other nations​

The Kosovo media faces limited legal regulation of media concentration, poor legislation regulating the media sector functioning, transparency and accountability. On the other hand it also faces harsh rhetoric from people in power, both those working in the public sector and those within political parties.  Some of these issues were further reiterated by the EU report on Kosovo for 2023 that noted that the lack of financial self-sustainability leaves the media vulnerable to political and business interests. This is further amplified by the lack of information and data on the final beneficiary of media ownership – provisions on this are still not enshrined into law.

Lastly, a strong local partner organization, such as Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) Kosovo, is one of RSF’s most relevant selection criteria as it presents the basis for a successful implementation.

10. Does the MOM only exist for Kosovo?

MOM was developed as a generic methodology that can be universally applied – and potentially will be. Notwithstanding that media concentration trends are observable worldwide; implementation and analysis will first take place in developing countries. MOM has been implemented in around 20 countries over the course of three years. All country projects can be found on the global website.

11. What are the limitations of the study?

    Financial data: Market concentration based on market share could not be calculated for online and radio since financial statements were not always outlet specific or outlets are not always registered, i.e. had general revenues from other businesses.

      Audience measurement data is not available; and  data that is available from targeted research is often conflicted and contested by some media owners and experts.

        Some investigations, particularly into the diverse local markets as well as into more hidden ownership structures would require more time and resources.

        Public spending / advertising for the media is not transparent. It is impossible to identify public funds spent on media, because they are not always clearly labeled as advertising. 

        12. Who do we target?

        The data base 

        • allows each citizen to get informed on the media system in general;
        • creates a fact base for civil society’s advocacy efforts to further promote public consciousness on media ownership and concentration;
        • serves as a point of reference for consulting competition authorities or governmental bodies when establishing suitable regulatory measures to safeguard media pluralism.

        13. What happens next?

        The database is a snapshot of the current situation, contextualized by historical facts. We aim at updating the website, depending on the situation. New country editions are being added frequently.

        14. Are there similar projects?

        The Media Ownership Monitor is mainly inspired by two similar projects. Especially the indicators for a later ranking rely heavily on the EU-funded Media Pluralism Monitor of the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom (CMPF) at the European University Institute (EUI, Florence). Moreover, Media Pedia, an ownership database developed by investigative journalists in Macedonia served as inspiration for the Media Ownership Monitor. An overview over other similar projects can be found in the table below. 



        Acess Info 

        A Spanish NGO that works in the field of media ownership transparency in several European countries.

        Article 19

        An NGO which works in the field of press freedom. It implements media concentration projects.

        Deutsche Welle

        The Media Freedom Navigator of Deutsche Welle provides an overview of different media freedom indices.

        European Audiovisual Observatory

        A database of television and audiovisual services in Europe.

        European Journalism Center


        The Website provides a summary and analysis of the state of the media in Europe and neighbouring countries.


        European University Institute in Florence

        The Media Pluralism Monitor assesses risks for media pluralism in the EU Member States.


        The network provides information of the state of the media in many countries.


        The Media Sustainability Index (MSI) provides analyses of the conditions for independent media in 80 countries.


        The Website provides information about media ownership in Great Britain.

        Pew Research Center

        The organisation publishes an interactive database about media in the United States.


        Monitors media ownership and the impact on media pluralism in southeastern Europe and EU member states.

        The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia Business School

        A research that works with authors from 30 countries in the world about media concentration using a common methodology.

        The Institute for Media and Communication Policy

        A database of international corporations of the world´s biggest media.


        Media Development Indicators - A framework for assessing media development.

        • Project by
          BIRN LOGO
          Global Media Registry
          Funded by European Union