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Online Offerings from Public Broadcasters

Online Offerings from Public Broadcasters

The 12th Amendment of the State Treaty on Changes to Broadcasting (Rundfunkänderungs­staatsvertrag) amends the legal framework for the activities of the broadcasting institutions. The new regulation takes into account the agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Commission on cooperative measures. The constitutional demands on the drafting of the functional requirement as regards new services are the subject of the project completed in 2007.

Beyond the area of online offerings, criteria were developed, which make possible the legal assessment of the broadcasting institutions’ services on digital platforms. Moving on from the interpretation of the constitutional concept of broadcasting, where it is demonstrated that it is not a question of categorisation as “presentation”, the relevance of online-services for the lawmakers’ drafting was investigated. In this, insights from communications and business studies were included, and it was demonstrated that, on one hand, particular online services show a high degree of relevance in the forming of opinions and, on the other, with commercial offerings structural deficits also exist in the internet as regards the fulfilment of the constitutional stipulations.

The next step was to analyse the services for which the structural peculiarities of public broadcasting are relevant (functionally relevant services) and which services the broadcasting institutions have to offer, in order to be able to fulfil the commission laid upon them under changed technical and social conditions as well (functionally necessary services). With the question as to the functionally relevant services, the particular production logic of public broadcasting was considered. Procedural rules for the adoption of new services were equally elucidated and the extent to which the broadcasting institutions themselves are subject to the constitution was investigated.

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Project Description

The 12th Amendment of the State Treaty on Changes to Broadcasting (Rundfunkänderungs­staatsvertrag) amends the legal framework for the activities of the broadcasting institutions. The new regulation takes into account the agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Commission on cooperative measures. The constitutional demands on the drafting of the functional requirement as regards new services are the subject of the project completed in 2007.

Beyond the area of online offerings, criteria were developed, which make possible the legal assessment of the broadcasting institutions’ services on digital platforms. Moving on from the interpretation of the constitutional concept of broadcasting, where it is demonstrated that it is not a question of categorisation as “presentation”, the relevance of online-services for the lawmakers’ drafting was investigated. In this, insights from communications and business studies were included, and it was demonstrated that, on one hand, particular online services show a high degree of relevance in the forming of opinions and, on the other, with commercial offerings structural deficits also exist in the internet as regards the fulfilment of the constitutional stipulations.

The next step was to analyse the services for which the structural peculiarities of public broadcasting are relevant (functionally relevant services) and which services the broadcasting institutions have to offer, in order to be able to fulfil the commission laid upon them under changed technical and social conditions as well (functionally necessary services). With the question as to the functionally relevant services, the particular production logic of public broadcasting was considered. Procedural rules for the adoption of new services were equally elucidated and the extent to which the broadcasting institutions themselves are subject to the constitution was investigated.

Project Information

Overview

Duration: 1997-2008

Involved persons

Dr. Thorsten Held

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Christiane Matzen, M. A.
Head of Science Communication

Christiane Matzen, M. A.

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung │ Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 41
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77

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