Public Media

Public Media

This section is produced in collaboration with the Global PSM Experts Network, a group of academic and applied researchers around the world who engage with issues related to public interest media, public service broadcasting, and independent journalism.
Their open access roster of members can be found here. Their open Facebook can be reached here. To join the Network, please fill in this membership questionnaire.



By Urmas Loit
4 May 2017
The appointment of a high government official in the body that governs Estonia’s public broadcaster is opening a can of worms. He promises to keep his two hats apart - but some people don’t trust him.
By Marius Dragomir
2 January 2017
Critics of taxpayer funding for public media are on the rise; and for good reason. It’s time for public media to take their audience seriously.
By Naser Miftari
2 September 2016
Built through an international assistance program, for many years Kosovo’s public broadcaster received kudos for its editorial coverage. Local politicians have spoiled that.
By Davor Marko
17 August 2016
Public service broadcasters in the Western Balkans have become increasingly unaccountable to their audiences and tone deaf to their needs. At stake is the very legitimacy of public service broadcasting in the region.
By Daria Taradai
1 August 2016 
The lack of definitive rules of engagement and professional standards for Ukrainian public media covering a quintessential topic of national interest – the ongoing war against Russian-backed separatists – also raises questions of self-censorship.
21 July 2016
An upcoming study on public media in the Global South calls for major reforms to help reinvent public service media.
6 July 2016
South Africa’s public broadcaster is going through yet another crisis as the government gears up for elections. The scandal may cost the broadcaster hefty audiences.
8 January 2016
TVP is to be headed by a politician.
By Andrzej Krajewski
4 January 2016
The Law and Justice (PiS) party, who won last year’s elections in Poland, rushed to adopt legislation in the last days of 2015 allowing them to fully control the public media management. Criticism abounds, but the government doesn’t care.
By Marius Dragomir and Frederick Emrich
30 November 2015
European broadcast groups are dwarfed by American ones on the global level. But at home, they enjoy a comfortable position. And they tend to further grow.
By Rana F. Sweis
9 November 2015
Jordan’s state television JRTV has seen its audience levels plummeting  in the past decade. Its reform has never succeeded. Now, the government pledges to launch a new TV channel that would truly serve the public. But these plans are raising numerous eyebrows.
By Andrzej Krajewski
2 November 2015
The victory of national conservatives in the Polish elections last week is a harbinger of grim times for the country’s journalists. Are their plans similar to those of premier Viktor Orban in Hungary? They resemble them, but bringing the media into line will not be a cakewalk in Poland.


Trust in Media and Public Broadcasting

16 August 2016
This past week, one of the two presidential candidates to the US presidency declared that his biggest opponent is not the other contestant, but “crooked media.” This could be seen as (yet another) attack on American democracy and as a populist attempt to fuel distrust in one of the cornerstones of democracy. In a democratic political system, citizens need to rely on people and institutions that they cannot always know first-hand. Media need to help people building that trust by providing trustworthy information about common issues.
Evaluating citizens' sentiments about trustworthiness of the media is undoubtedly an important task. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an organization of European public broadcasters, has recently published two reports: Trust in Media in Europe 2016, and PSM Correlations: Links between public service media and societal well-being. The reports indicate that broadcast media is seen more trustworthy than the press, the internet, let alone social media.  Yet, merely one half of European citizens “tend to trust” the most popular outlets, TV and radio.
There are regional differences, or “clusters”: Nordics and Estonians are inclined to trust broadcast media; viewers and listeners in Southeast Europe not so much. The latter region does not think much of the press, either, nor do the readers in the UK. The internet is viewed as a trusted source by many in Eastern Europe but not in France, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, or the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly, in the European context, high press freedom levels tend to go with higher trust in media. When a country fosters a strong public service media system that seems to correlate with many good things: higher voter turnout, control of corruption, and lesser demand for right-wing extremism. (By Minna Aslama)


Public Service Media: How to Reach the Youth?
By Lizzie Jackson and Michal Glowacki
8 January 2017
Public Service Media (PSM) is arguably in crisis. To meet the media preferences of Millennials and Generation Z, young people born after 1996, they have to adapt to delivering content via computer networks. Technology savvy consumers have never known life without the internet. Generation Z accesses, and generates, stories via mobile devices and social media. 
So how can PSM evolve?
Organisational Culture of Public Service Media: People, Values and Processes is a three-year international research project planned to end in 2018 that looks at high technology clusters in North America and Europe. The position of PSM in relation to these aggregations is showing that partnerships with cultural institutions, university research departments, startup communities and independent producers is key to retaining the traditional role of public service media as a catalyst of social and technological innovation going forward.
Researchers Dr Michal Glowacki (University of Warsaw, Poland) and Professor Lizzie Jackson (London South Bank University, UK) interview public service media, business accelerators, high tech firms, city municipalities and policymakers to find the intrinsic qualities of adaptive firms. The study also investigates barriers to change. A diverse range of city clusters have been chosen: Austin, Boston/Cambridge, Detroit and Toronto alongside Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Warsaw, Tallinn and Vienna.
The project builds on the researchers’ policy work for the Council of Europe. The 2012 Declaration and Recommendation on the governance of Public Service Media enables potential expansion onto new platforms. The current project aims to offer models for R&D, new organizational design and partnership working to assist evolution of the PSM project. The work is financially supported by the National Science Centre of Poland.

Public Media Alliance
20 October 2016
The Public Media Alliance is a membership association of 102 TV and radio broadcasting organisations with a public service remit. Members also include broadcast-related organisations such as regulators and broadcast technology companies. The Alliance stretches across 54 countries – in both hemispheres and all continents.
The Public Media Alliance exists to support public broadcasters and integrated digital media organisations with a public service remit. Our focus is the shared public media space.

The provision of such a space – that is trusted, independent and credible – via broadcast, digital or internet platforms is a central pillar of public service broadcasting/media. And the PMA provides a key forum for exchange of views, ideas and experiences of key thinkers, decision-makers, practitioners, senior managers and academics working in the field of PSB/M internationally.

Public Service Media in a Networked Society
27 September 2016
By Gregory Ferrell Lowe
The complicated relationship between detachment and connection was a focal point of discussions among the 100 or so participants in the RIPE@2016 conference last week at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. Cutting through and across many of these was the character and complexity of the media-society relationship as a tension between being connected and being detached.
The notion of ‘detachment’ is deliberate because it implies something that could be connected but is not by choice. There is a problem of implied negativity in the connotation, but to see this only in that sense would be overly simplistic. Connection is less complicated conceptually, perhaps, but equally complicated in practice. Detachment and connection can be understood as a continuum that is an essential feature of networked societies and the emerging media system in the 21st century. Read more