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Redefining and Repositioning Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital and Multiplatform Scenario

Redefining and Repositioning Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital and Multiplatform Scenario

An international Comparative Analysis within the European Union

Post-Doctoral Research Project funded by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development

Researcher in charge: Dr. Roberto Suárez Candel
Host Institution: Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research (Hamburg – Germany)
Scientific Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink

Starting date: February 1st, 2010
Duration: 2 years

Website: http://www.psb-digital.eu

Summary

The configuration of a new digital and multiplatform scenario implies important changes in the structure, the business models and the reception patterns of the media system. In the case of Public Service Broadcasting/Media, the new context sets a clear inflection point concerning its position within the market and its role with regard to the society. In this sense, divergent opinions coexist: On the one hand, free market and competition are considered sufficient to guarantee not only the protection of those values that once legitimized PSB but also the fulfilment of its attributed functions. On the other hand, the new possibilities resulting from the digitalisation and the convergence of distribution platforms are regarded as an opportunity to improve the performance of public operators and thus offering a better service to the society.

This research project aims to investigate to what extent the mentioned transformation processes together with the pointed debate have an impact on Public Service. The main goal is identifying and analysing what strategies are implemented in order to redefine its remit and to reposition its operators in the new context.

Consequently, in the first part of the project, the current transformations affecting the media will be studied. New tendencies and operational logics will be identified. As a result, a theoretical model concerning the opportunities and challenges for public service broadcasters in the multiplatform scenario will be designed and contrasted with the current situation at the national cases selected for the international comparison (Germany, Poland and Spain).

Next, the research will be focused on the PSB adaptation strategies to the multiplatform scenario. The articulation of their elements – network of agents, goals and procedures – varies depending on the particularities of each national media market as well as on the political tradition of each state. Considering this diversity within the EU, the definition and development of these strategies in the selected countries will be compared.

Regarding the final objectives of this project, first of all, it has a strong theoretical ambition, wanting to contribute to the development of the PSB studies. Secondly, it aims to produce valuable pragmatic knowledge by means of detecting best practices among the adaptation strategies implemented in Europe. As a result from the analysis carried out, a list of recommendations for the different players involved in the redefinition and repositioning of PSB will be drawn.

Keywords

Communication sciences, Media studies, Television studies, Public Service Broadcasting/Media, Digitalisation, Convergence, Multiplatform, Comparative Analysis, European Union, Germany, Poland, Spain

Research Questions

  • How do the digitalisation and the configuration of a convergent multiplatform media scenario affect the values, functions and objectives that legitimize PSB?
  • To what extent do those changes force to modify the theoretical conceptualization and the practical configuration of PSB?
  • What are the main opportunities and challenges for public service broadcasting in the mentioned scenario?
  • What kind of decision-making networks are working on the current transformation of PSB?
  • What strategies are being implemented in order to redefine the remit of the public broadcasters and to reposition them within the multiplatform media market? Which are the most effective?

Objectives

First part: “The Transformation of the Media Market and its Repercussions on PSB”

  • A detailed picture of the current transformation processes affecting the media system.
  • A reflection on how those transformations influence PSB (remit, organization and performance).
  • A theoretical model of the opportunities and challenges for PSB in the multiplatform media scenario.

Second part: “Redefining and Repositioning PSB: Agents and Strategies”

  • Conclusions on the application of Jarren et al. (2001) model regarding PSB decision-making networks.
  • Conclusions on the international comparison of PSB decision-making networks, identifying patterns, tendencies and most effective practices.
  • Conclusions on the contrast between the model of opportunities & challenges for PSB and the national realities. Identification of the most frequent goals concerning PSB adaptation.
  • Conclusions on the role and independence of public broadcasters when designing and implementing adaptation strategies.
  • Identification of patterns regarding adaptation strategies and evaluation of their effectiveness.
  • Conclusions on the influence of supranational policies over national strategies.

As final outcome of the project and the international comparison carried out:

  • Identification of best practices concerning the strategies for redefining and repositioning PSB.
  • A list of recommendations for national agents involved in that adaptation process.
  • A list of recommendations for supranational bodies.
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Project Description

An international Comparative Analysis within the European Union

Post-Doctoral Research Project funded by a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development

Researcher in charge: Dr. Roberto Suárez Candel
Host Institution: Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research (Hamburg – Germany)
Scientific Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink

Starting date: February 1st, 2010
Duration: 2 years

Website: http://www.psb-digital.eu

Summary

The configuration of a new digital and multiplatform scenario implies important changes in the structure, the business models and the reception patterns of the media system. In the case of Public Service Broadcasting/Media, the new context sets a clear inflection point concerning its position within the market and its role with regard to the society. In this sense, divergent opinions coexist: On the one hand, free market and competition are considered sufficient to guarantee not only the protection of those values that once legitimized PSB but also the fulfilment of its attributed functions. On the other hand, the new possibilities resulting from the digitalisation and the convergence of distribution platforms are regarded as an opportunity to improve the performance of public operators and thus offering a better service to the society.

This research project aims to investigate to what extent the mentioned transformation processes together with the pointed debate have an impact on Public Service. The main goal is identifying and analysing what strategies are implemented in order to redefine its remit and to reposition its operators in the new context.

Consequently, in the first part of the project, the current transformations affecting the media will be studied. New tendencies and operational logics will be identified. As a result, a theoretical model concerning the opportunities and challenges for public service broadcasters in the multiplatform scenario will be designed and contrasted with the current situation at the national cases selected for the international comparison (Germany, Poland and Spain).

Next, the research will be focused on the PSB adaptation strategies to the multiplatform scenario. The articulation of their elements – network of agents, goals and procedures – varies depending on the particularities of each national media market as well as on the political tradition of each state. Considering this diversity within the EU, the definition and development of these strategies in the selected countries will be compared.

Regarding the final objectives of this project, first of all, it has a strong theoretical ambition, wanting to contribute to the development of the PSB studies. Secondly, it aims to produce valuable pragmatic knowledge by means of detecting best practices among the adaptation strategies implemented in Europe. As a result from the analysis carried out, a list of recommendations for the different players involved in the redefinition and repositioning of PSB will be drawn.

Keywords

Communication sciences, Media studies, Television studies, Public Service Broadcasting/Media, Digitalisation, Convergence, Multiplatform, Comparative Analysis, European Union, Germany, Poland, Spain

Research Questions

  • How do the digitalisation and the configuration of a convergent multiplatform media scenario affect the values, functions and objectives that legitimize PSB?
  • To what extent do those changes force to modify the theoretical conceptualization and the practical configuration of PSB?
  • What are the main opportunities and challenges for public service broadcasting in the mentioned scenario?
  • What kind of decision-making networks are working on the current transformation of PSB?
  • What strategies are being implemented in order to redefine the remit of the public broadcasters and to reposition them within the multiplatform media market? Which are the most effective?

Objectives

First part: “The Transformation of the Media Market and its Repercussions on PSB”

  • A detailed picture of the current transformation processes affecting the media system.
  • A reflection on how those transformations influence PSB (remit, organization and performance).
  • A theoretical model of the opportunities and challenges for PSB in the multiplatform media scenario.

Second part: “Redefining and Repositioning PSB: Agents and Strategies”

  • Conclusions on the application of Jarren et al. (2001) model regarding PSB decision-making networks.
  • Conclusions on the international comparison of PSB decision-making networks, identifying patterns, tendencies and most effective practices.
  • Conclusions on the contrast between the model of opportunities & challenges for PSB and the national realities. Identification of the most frequent goals concerning PSB adaptation.
  • Conclusions on the role and independence of public broadcasters when designing and implementing adaptation strategies.
  • Identification of patterns regarding adaptation strategies and evaluation of their effectiveness.
  • Conclusions on the influence of supranational policies over national strategies.

As final outcome of the project and the international comparison carried out:

  • Identification of best practices concerning the strategies for redefining and repositioning PSB.
  • A list of recommendations for national agents involved in that adaptation process.
  • A list of recommendations for supranational bodies.

Project Information

Overview

Duration: 2010-2012

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink

Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink

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

Tel. +49 (0)40 450 21 70
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77

u.hasebrink@leibniz-hbi.de

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