The Funding of Public Service Media: A Matter of Value and Values

Gregory F. Lowe, Christian E. Berg

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    This article provides an overview of the financial situation for public service broadcasting in European Union member countries, situating concerns about the sector's economic value-for-money in a broader discourse about contention over socio-political values. The authors argue that debate about funding public broadcasting is not only about funding; it is about wider issues only partly rooted in the current economic malaise. An underlying dynamic is keyed to the digitalization of the media system at large, co-related with growing complexity in media competition, fuelling debate over the complexion of media systems in the 21st century as a consequence of greater instability and higher uncertainty. A model describes 4 modes of funding for media and assesses operational implications for each. This work elaborates on earlier research questioning the premise that big, rich countries are suitable models for small countries with far less wealth and much smaller populations, arguing that, by and large, these are not suitable models (Lowe & Nissen, 2011). The data and argumentation are relevant to the discussion about the future of the European dual broadcasting system and, more broadly, for consideration of implications in how media are understood and organized and the purposes for which media are mandated
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJMM - International Journal on Media Management
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)77-97
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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