The European Federation of Journalists plans to seek assurances on editorial independence after Mecom, an investment fund managed by former Daily Mirror chief David Montgomery, acquired the Norwegian media company Orkla Media.
Orkla Media is the fifth-largest media company in the Nordic area, employing 7,000 people and includes newspapers, magazines, radio, television, digital media and direct marketing businesses in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine.
The EFJ says it is concerned that the group’s reputation for independent journalism may be compromised by hard-nosed business interests that put pressure on journalistic standards.
“We shall be seeking assurances that the new owners intend to maintain respect for quality and independent journalism as well as pushing ahead with social dialogue initiatives that have strengthened the group’s reputation in Europe,” said Arne König, the EFJ Chair.
This purchase is the latest in a series of acquisitions by Mecom since October, when it agreed to buy the Berlin publishing group Berliner Verlag. Montgomery followed that up in February with the acquisition of the Hamburger Morgenpost, Hamburg's second largest daily newspaper. Then, in April, Mecom agreed to buy Dutch group LMG from the Telegraaf Media Groep.