Celebrate 100 years of public service media with us!

05 September 2022
BBC Plaque
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) headquarters building on Portland Place. Credit: Willy Barton / Shutterstock.com
PMA will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of public service media on 18 October 2022, and we want you to get involved!

On 18 October 1922, the British Broadcasting Company was founded. One month later, its first radio segment was broadcast. In December of that year, a certain John Reith was appointed the company’s General Manager.

The founding of the BBC was inauspicious. It was not until five years later, in 1927, that it received its Royal Charter, and became the British Broadcasting Corporation.

But this is still a significant milestone. It marks not just the centenary of the BBC but the centenary for public broadcasting. Over the 100 years that followed the concept of independent public service media (PSM) spread globally scores of organisations emerged with values that have played a critical role underpinning democracies globally, establishing themselves as a vital and reliable source of news, a key component in the support of the creative industries, and a touchpoint of cultural and civic life.

The celebration also comes as PSM worldwide face existential threats – populist governments seeking to silence independent voices, the rise of mis- and disinformation, increasing competition with global streaming giants, journalists under threat now more than ever before.

We believe the centenary is an important moment to recognise the value that PSM provides to communities. Ultimately, public media needs to be strengthened and better protected, and there needs to be greater media literacy about why an independent public service media organisation is a huge asset to society and how it underpins democracy.

What is PMA doing to mark the occasion?

Throughout October, PMA will be marking the centenary of the BBC and public service media.

  • Our Media Uncovered podcast will look to the future. What does the next 100 years have in store for public media? What are the threats facing it now?
  • We will be releasing a number of Insights from media professionals and public media experts, as well as our own reports and analysis.

How can you get involved?

We want to hear from you!

We’re looking to establish a collection of voices where people reflect on:

  • What does public media mean to you?
  • What value has it provided to your society?
  • How safe is the future of public media?

We want to hear from everyone: it doesn’t matter if you are a staff member at a public service media organisation, an academic in this field, a civil society group, or a member of the public. Public media is for everyone, and your input is valuable!

Please send us voice memos, videos, or short written pieces about what public media means to you (using these questions as prompts) by 12 October to editor@publicmediaalliance.org 

Requirements: Video and audio content must be no longer than 1 minute. Video can be recorded on a camera or smartphone in landscape form. Please transfer video or audio files via WeTransfer. Written reports must be 200 words maximum. Please contact us if you have any queries. 

Content will be published on the PMA website and via our social media platforms. 

We also encourage you to get involved with the occasion on social media. Use the hashtag #100YearsofPSM and tag us!