Comparative Media Policy, Regulation and Governance in Europe - Chapter 6 (Book)

Chapter 6: Public Service Media in Western Europe Today: Ten Countries Compared


This chapter compares public service media (PSM) institutions and their legal and policy context in ten European countries (Ireland, Austria, Wallonia, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switserland France and United Kingdom) on 53 indicators to compare remit, organisation and service provision, added value and audience reach. Results suggest these institutions are strongly rooted in the media landscape and continue to hold strong positions with regards to audience and market shares, but show quite varied forms of organisation. Mixed financing remains dominant but the size and type of commercial revenues differ considerably. In most cases, information, education and culture, together with sports and entertainment make up the key aims of these institutions. PSM have built online and new media services. The chapter discusses these results in light of the contemporary relevance of PSM in the European media landscape, while pointing to fundamental challenges in terms of financing, legitimacy, content balance and holistic framing. It concludes that, faces with ever new technological developments, PSM need innovation and creativity to continue to play its critical role in European societies and public spheres.
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