Regaining the Initiative for Public Service Media


Jeanette Steemers
Gregory Ferrell Lowe
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Public service media is today challenged on every front. Publics and politicians see the commercial approach as the ‘normal’ way to organise broadcasting. There are strong pressures to downsize PSM organisations, to limit investment options, to restrict online and digital operations, to narrow remits to genres and for audiences that are not commercially attractive, and for increasingly intrusive assessment procedures. The principles no longer resonate very widely and there is growing criticism about a decline in distinctiveness. Even among traditional allies, support is flagging and skepticism is growing.

In Europe the institution has not yet presented a coherent and convincing strategy attuned for relevance in the 21st century. PSM has lost or is in danger of losing the initiative. At the same time, there are promising efforts to develop PSM in regions and countries lacking a domestic history with PSB – to gain the initiative for building PSM. This 5th RIPE Reader incorporates a wider purview as an outgrowth of proceedings from the RIPE@2010 conference that convened in London 8-11 September to address the theme, Public Service Media After the Recession. The book is divided into four sections, reflecting the varied and distinctive narratives of PSB around the world.



Regaining the Initiative for Public Service Media
Gregory Ferrell Lowe, Jeanette Steemers

I. Policy Case-Making in the Heartland of PSB

The Changing Nature of Political Case-Making for Public Service Broadcasters
Robert G. Picard

Losing the Battle, Winning the War: Public Service Media Debate in Scandinavia 2000-2010
Lars Nord

High Noon: The BBC Meets “The West’s Most Daring Government”
Peter Goodwin

II. Responding to Environmental Pressures

Ex Ante Tests: A Means to an End or the End for Public Service Media?
Karen Donders, Caroline Pauwels

PSB Policymaking in Comparative Perspective: The BBC and France Télévisions
David A. L. Levy

Changing Regimes of Regulation: Implications For Public Service Broadcasting
Peter Lunt, Sonia Livingstone, Benedetta Brevini

III. Taking the Initiative at the Frontiers of PSM

Born into Crisis: Public Service Broadcasters in South East Europe
Sally Broughton Micova

Public Cultural Service: New Paradigms of Broadcasting Policy and Reform in the People’s Republic of China
Yik Chan Chin, Matthew D. Johnson

Breaking the Mold with New Media: Making Way for a Public Service Provider in Mexico?
Julio Juárez-Gámiz, Gregory Ferrell Lowe

Public Service Initiatives in Arab Media Today
Naomi Sakr

IV. Public Service Media in Practice

Broadcast Journalism and Impartiality in the Digital Age: Six Fallacies and a Counter-Factual
Steven Barnett

A 360° Public Service Sector? The Role of Independent Production in the UK’s Public Service Broadcasting Landscape
James Bennett, Paul Kerr

Expectations, Experiences & Exceptions: Promises and Realities of Participation on Websites
Piet Bakker

The Authors

Book cover: Regaining the Initiative for Public Service Media


Pages: 257
ISBN print
, print
Series: RIPE