CFP | 1.5. | Public Service Broadcasting In The Digital Age

The VIEW Journal is calling for papers on the topic “Public Service Broadcasting In The Digital Age”.

This special issue proposes a reexamination of public service broadcasting (PSB) in the light of the most recent technological, political and economic developments. Traditional public service broadcasters, ideally designed to serve citizens rather than consumers to inform the national conversations in well-informed democracies, face the double challenge of commercialization (since the 1980s) and digitization (since the 1990s). The question of their survival in this context has been posed again and again. The need for a redefinition seems inevitable.

PSB as a whole is reorganizing its structures and re-inventing its content. New ways to reach audiences are being explored. New definitions of PSB are being put forward. PSB is looking ahead to survive. Authors are encouraged to submit pieces that address this transition.

The following questions are central to this issue:

* Can the conservation and the diffusion of archives be a new central mission of PSB? Could the future of PSB lie in the past? (Bill Thompson (BBC) has recently redefined the BBC as a huge archive with some broadcasting activity, while a former chair of Arte wrote that the channel’s documentary activity was as much about providing an archive for the future than about broadcasting for the present).
* Can the first mission of Reith’s tryptich, information, remain central? The recent debate of fake news seems to be but the latest chapter in a long history of threats to “quality information”, almost from the start of journalism: commercialisation, sensationalism, infotainment, talk shows. Can the crisis around “fake news” be exploited to rejuvenate public service broadcasting or platform as guarantor of quality news? Are certain categories of journalism more appropriate for public service (e.g. investigative journalism, citizen journalism)?
* Which new platforms and/or new organizations can be seen as best “serving the public”, regardless of their link to the state? How should traditional PSBroadcasters be present on the web? Should television no longer be considered as central to PSB? Should news website (still based on verbal language), and even the resisting still play a major part as public service media?
* How should public service organizations respond to increased audience participation? Should they seek young audiences in a proactive way, while traditional broadcasters have seen their audiences get older?
* What is the relevance of public service traditional institutions/resilient ideals, at a time where liberal democracy is threatened by the rise of populism and nationalism?
* Why have academics written about PSB mostly in a positive, supportive way? Should PSB be considered still as an ideal originating in Western (Northern) Europe, while recent histories of the developing and former socialist world have shown us that other countries have relied on PSB especially for popular, national education, much like Western European broadcasters?
* What is the present relevance of transnational media encounters (Nordicom, EBU) to PBS?

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Paper proposals maximum of 500 words are due 1 May 2018.

Link to full call for papers.

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