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Public Broadcasting Systems

Jo Bardoel


Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media Studies » Media System

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

Public service broadcasting (PSB), according to McQuail (2005 , 179), refers to “a system that is set up by law and generally financed by public funds (often a compulsory license fee paid by households) and given a large degree of editorial and operating independence.” Public service broadcasting is supposed to function independently of both the market and the state, and therefore differs from the alternative systems of commercial broadcasting on the one hand and authoritarian or state-operated broadcasting on the other (→  Communication and Law ; Media Policy ; Radio Broadcasting, Regulation of ; Television Broadcasting, Regulation of). Until the 1980s public service broadcasting was dominant, or even held a monopoly, in most countries of the western world. During that decade public broadcasters lost their dominant position because of liberalizing policies following the advent of new distribution technologies and the eroding legitimacy of the argument of spectrum scarcity as well as growing political and public criticism of the privileged position of PSBs (→  Satellite Television ; Cable Television ). In the 1990s commercial stations became the dominant actors in most broadcasting markets, and public service broadcasters had to adapt to a new, “dual” broadcasting context in which they are the exception rather than the rule. At the beginning of the third millennium new multimedia ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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