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The European Commission is hosting a meeting today with eight editors-in-chief from some of Europe's more established and respectable newspapers and magazines, including The Times, to discuss the future of printed media.

The discussion is expected to cover sources of advertising revenue, and the rules "distinguishing editorial content from advertising features".

Commissioner Viviane Reding makes a point of reassuring the editors that there are no plans within the commission to ban advertising. She sits on a Media Task Force which, the EC says, scrutinises proposed legislation at "an early stage" to assess its potential impact on print media.

Reding said in a statement that the press is "a cornerstone of freedom of speech and democracy". Because of this, she said, the EC needs to pay attention to the policies that have an impact on print media.

She went on: "Both journalistic freedom and solid economic foundations are indispensable for newspapers and magazines to flourish in the multi-media age."

The delegates will also consider how increasing internet use will affect their publications, and how to tackle the waning interest of the younger generation in printed media. ®

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