Tag Archives: public service broadcasting

BBC Three launched in 2003. That’s before the iPhone, Facebook, SBTV, Netflix, Snapchat, driverless cars and a man jumping from space. The world’s changed and what millennials and Generation Z want and expect from the BBC has changed. To meet their needs as licence fee payers we must offer them a service and content they want. Our proposal is to re-invent BBC Three for the digital age and to take risks with ideas, talent and technology. We want to take what’s great about BBC Three and what’s great about digital and merge the two, to give audiences something of the digital world, not just in it. This isn’t moving a TV channel and putting it online. This is new. We are the first broadcaster in the world to propose something like this.


Pulling advertisements is an age-old tactic for businesses facing media criticism to seek retribution. But in the case of PBS, which exists in part as a way to limit commercial influence on educational television, doing so just feeds into writer Eugenia Williamson’s thesis — that the idealistic, Great Society-era initiative often behaves more like a corporate or political organism

This book is the result of three conferences held in Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador, to discuss the role of public television in Latin America. The role of public media is making a major readjustment. Worldwide, there is reflection on what should take place in the pluralistic media system that a democratic society must build and nurture. The objective of this book is to identify those formulas that, beyond their theoretical conception, serve in practice – because they are already operating in countries of the region – as an example to make public television comply with the basic mission it shares with the rest of public media to inform, educate and entertain, and to do so because of the autonomy, economic sustainability and quality of its content. The book begins with a historical survey of public television beginning in London. Chapter 2 defines what public television is. Chapter 3 details the various types of programs found on public television. Chapters 4 and 5 explain who controls public TV, and how it is financed. Chapter 6 predicts what the future of public TV will hold, and Chapter 7 concludes with a global proposal for Latin American public media.

In this excellent February 2013 paper for Nesta, Counting What Counts, Anthony Lilley, never one to mince his words, pushes the arts and cultural sector (public service broadcasting included) to embrace the opportunity of Big Data:

There are some fundamental barriers to the use of big data approaches in arts and cultural institutions. The first is related to the funding environment. The sector currently largely addresses data from too limited a perspective. Too often, the gathering and reporting of data is seen as a burden and a requirement of funding or governance rather than as an asset to be used to the benefit of the artistic or cultural institution and its work. This point of view is in danger of holding the sector back. It arises partly from the philosophy of dependence, subsidy and market failure which underpins much of the cultural sector including the arts and public service broadcasting.

A shift in mindset to one which sees data more as an asset and not just as a tool of accountability is a fundamental requirement of making the most of the “big data opportunity” envisaged by this paper. Importantly, such a shift which would match much of the rhetoric of “investment” which is used in the sector, particularly by policy and funding bodies. This paper suggests, to date, this rhetoric has largely been just that; a new term to replace the loaded word “subsidy” rather than a genuine change.

The second major obstacle is the limited strategic understanding of or indeed interest in the use of data at senior levels in the cultural sector. For many, the potential of data in the cultural sector is at best a “known-unknown” or worse goes entirely unappreciated. For some, the idea of using data in the the arts is controversial or even anathema. Limited day to day data management skills in many parts of the sector and often less than ideal technology in many organisations contribute to a sense of strategic drift. And yet, there are, of course, islands of passionate expertise and effective activity.

Without question, the effective use of big data (so-called data-driven decision-making or DDD) has the potential to deliver operational and financial benefits to individual cultural organisations in obvious fields such as marketing and development and, in turn, through the ways in which it might inform artistic decision-making.

This paper calls, ultimately, for a strategic approach to sectoral change, to capacity building and to joining up and scaling existing work with a view to achieving a step change in the way that data can help improve the resilience of the cultural sector.

Read the rest of the paper here.

Digital technologies have profoundly changed the media landscape. In particular due to the now ubiquitous Internet, we have observed in recent years unparalleled abundance and diversity of content and of platforms where content can be shared and accessed (Facebook, Wikipedia or blogs, spring quickly to mind). These modifications have however not stopped at simply multiplying the communication channels, but have also led to new types of civic engagement and social interaction and to new modes of content production, distribution and access that move away from the conventional broadcasting model of “pushing” information from one point to many. This newly created media ecosystem puts the institution of public service broadcasting (PSB) – i.e. for instance in the Swiss context, the SRG SSR idée suisse – under pressure.

While PSB’s fundamental task of securing freedom and diversity of expressions and of cultivating and transmitting social values endures, some urgent questions arise: Are not some of these goals already achieved by commercial and user-generated media? What is the role that PSB organisations should assume in the new environment and are they really worth the taxpayers’ money? Have PSBs somehow forgotten, in the struggle for commercial success, their essential task of sustaining the public sphere and of promoting core social and cultural values? The present project seeks answers to these questions.

We do not necessarily argue that the institution of the PSB is outmoded. If aptly designed, we believe that PSB may effectively continue to serve the public interest and even take up new tasks. PSB must however reform to reflect the novel conditions of the digital media environment. The project is a legal enquiry. In order to attain its objectives, however, it also necessitates an in-depth multidisciplinary analysis of the implications of digital media, in particular those affecting PSB as an institution and as a means to secure certain public interests.

The project will examine the existing PSB instruments put in place in selected countries to manage the adjustment from analogue to digital and suggest their possible optimisation. It will eventually draw the contours of a model that most appropriately implements the goals of PSB in the contemporary (and ever evolving) digital environment. The corresponding legal framework, encompassing media, competition, state aid and intellectual property law rules, will be analysed not only at the national level, where PSB regimes are commonly formulated, but also at the European and international levels, where its compatibility will be tested in order to generate an overall coherent regulatory model.