Few will deny that public service broadcasting--broadcasting that is controlled neither by the state nor by private media corporations--is an essential ingredient in modern democracy. But, as a number of initiatives in transition economies have shown, the inception and development of a strong public broadcasting system is a Herculean task that is easily sidetracked by politics or ideology, or stalled by lack of funding. Especially when state budgets are stretched, the expense is hard to justify.
This collection of documents, comments, and cases brings all the major issues in public service broadcasting policy into focus and sets the problems to be addressed in sharp relief. It draws on white papers from NGOs and broadcasters, legislation from a wide range of countries (and a model law), accounts of public broadcasting efforts in transition states, analyses of evolving policy in established systems, government regulatory guidelines, and a great deal more. Among the matters touched upon are the following: the principles of public service broadcasting and their cultural and economic justification; limiting state interference; the place of public broadcasting in a multi-channel, the appropriate mix of public and private revenues; objectivity and impartiality in broadcasting; how institutional structures can shape programming strategies; the use of competition law to adjust relations between public and private broadcasting; EU accession standards for public service broadcasting; and the impact of digital broadcasting.
Kluwer Law International