Media and Gender

A scholarly agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and GenderGAMAG

This extensive report is a significant scholarly contributions to knowledge and action towards expanding women’s participation in all communication platforms.

According to the authors this volume “proposes a pragmatic research agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), looking back, building on the past and looking to the future.”

For access to the full open source publication, click here

The Australian Communications and Media Authority

The ACMA is Australia’s broadcasting, internet, radio communications and telecommunications regulator. Their intention is to make “media and communications work for all Australians“.

The role of the ACMA is diverse, from online safety courses for children and parents to conducting research on the Australian media communications environment to inform decision makers. Away from education and research, the ACMA also manage Australia’s radio frequency spectrum, ensuring that it is equipped for the continuing pressures rapidly growing ownership of mobile internet devices.

As regulators, the AMCA is responsible for investigating codes of conduct and practice both on an individual and organisational level. This includes combatting the misuse of content, abuse and producing guidelines that help to protect consumer and citizen rights.

The links below take you to two of the ACMA’s most recent reports. ‘The Communications Report 2014-2015‘ reports on the “performance of carriers and carriage service providers, including consumer satisfaction, consumer benefits and quality of service“, whilst the inaugural ‘ACMA snapshot‘ (September quarter, 2015) offers an overview of the ACMA’s “broad and diverse” regulatory activities.

Communication Report 2014-2015

AMCA Snapshot: September 2015

Germany: Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting and Telemedia

This treaty is a great example of how to implement a funding transition and regulatory changes within a federal State.

Written by Germany’s Die Medienanstalten (the corporation representing all state media authorities in Germany), this 2019 version of the Interstate treaty contains the principal regulatory framework for public-service and commercial broadcasting in a dual broadcasting system of Germany’s federal states. It also takes into account the development of the broadcasting sector in Europe.


Auntie Knows Best?

Public broadcasters and current affairs knowledge

Stuart Soroka, Blake Andrew, Toril Aalberg, Shanto Iyengar, James Curran, Sharon Coen, Kaori Hayashi, Paul Jones, Gianpetro Mazzoleni, June Woong Rhee, David Rowe and Rod Tiffen.

Cambridge University Press, 1 January 2013, British Journal of Political Science


“PSBs are a central part of national news media landscapes. In many countries, PSBs are the first choice of citizens when it comes to news providers. And in perhaps more countries still, PSBs are thought of as specialists in provision of hard news.

We test this proposition here using survey data from a large cross-national survey involving indicators of current affairs knowledge and media consumption. Specifically, we examine whether exposure to public versus commercial news influences the knowledge citizens possess about current affairs, both domestically and internationally. We also test, using propensity score analysis, whether there is variation across PSBs in this regard.

Results indicate that compared to commercial news, watching PSB has a net positive influence on knowledge of hard news, though not all PSBs are equally effective in contributing to knowledge acquisition. This knowledge gap between PSB and commercial news media consumption appears to be mitigated by factors such as de jure independence proportion of public financing, and audience share.”


Ripe 2013: The Value of Public Service Media

Book | Journal
The sixth publication in the series of RIPE Readers on PSM published by NORDICOM

Editors: Gregory Ferrell Lowe & Fiona Martin



With public service media under increasing scrutiny by governments and media markets alike, this reader contains a selection of chapters which investigate the diverse conceptions of public service value in media, keyed to distinctions in the values and ideals that legitimate media as a public service in many countries.

Chapters include ‘Comparing Public Value as a Media Policy Term in Europe’, ‘Disaster Coverage and Public Value from Below’ and ‘ A Market Failure Perspective on Value Creation in PSM’ as well as many others.

To access the full publication, click here.

Mapping Digital Media: News and New Media in Central Africa

Challenges and Opportunities

Marie-Soleil Frère 

The Open Society Media Program, December 2012


The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa. Rwanda and Burundi are among the continent’s smallest states. More than just neighbours, these three countries are locked together by overlapping histories and by extreme political and economic challenges. Their populations are overwhelmingly rural and young. In terms of media, radio is by far the most popular source of news. Levels of state capture are high, and media quality is generally poor. Professional journalists face daunting obstacles.

Telecoms overheads are exorbitantly high. In these conditions, new and digital media — which flourish on consumers’ disposable income, strategic investment, and vibrant markets — have made a very slow start. Crucially, connectivity remains low. But change is afoot, led by the growth of mobile internet access.

In this report, Marie-Soleil Frère surveys the news landscapes of DRC, Burundi, and Rwanda. Marshalling an impressive range of data, she examines patterns of production and consumption, the often grim realities of law and regulation, the embryonic state of media policy, the role of donors, and the positive impact of online platforms. Most media outlets now have an online presence. SMS has become a basic tool for reporters. Interactivity gives voice to increasing numbers of listeners. The ease of digital archiving makes it possible to create a collective media “memory” for the first time. Chinese businesses are winning tenders for infrastructure projects.

The report ends with a set of practical recommendations relating to infrastructure, strategies to reduce access costs for journalists and the public, education and professionalisation, donor activity, governance, regulation, and media management.

Quality Indicators for Public Broadcasters – Contemporary Evaluation

Guide | Policy brief | Report
This UNESCO report discusses ways of assessing quality in public media.


This report, published by UNESCO, gives an insight into possible indicators for quality in public media. Public broadcasters and companies around the world are striving to produce high-quality content and face the market competition, but often their efforts cannot be quantified, and there is no structured way for public media companies to assess their performance. Public broadcasters can currently rely only on audience measurement instruments and ratings. According to the report, indicators are necessary to correctly assess the services provided by public broadcasters, make evaluations clearer and more objective and paving the way for continuous improvements.

This study offers a set of indicators that can be adapted or considered for different institutions and offers indicators related to production diversity, originality, the use of new languages and platforms and much more.


The Public Sphere, Social Networks and Public Service Media

Petros Iosifidis

Sociology, City University, London

2011. Information, Communication and Society, 14(5), p. 619-637

Taylor and Francis Publications



“The traditional Habermasian concept of the national public sphere created by the mass media of newspapers and television is said to have transformed to a multi-layered sphere of online and social networks which are increasingly important in engaging and mobilizing citizenship and in shaping the discourse within which rational discussion takes place. This article argues that the democratizing and empowering functions of the Internet and the new social media is being exaggerated and represent technological optimism for a number of reasons: the open participation of the Internet can turn chaotic; there is a problem of inclusiveness; censorship might be an issue; the Internet has become a major arena for corporate activity; the Internet’s content is highly partisan; and above all, extensive dialogue and critical discussion (the very essence of the public sphere) is often absent on the Net. The article argues that open-platform Public Service Media (PSM) are capable of developing more comprehensive and inclusive social frameworks than online providers. Despite the growing financial gulf between PSM and their commercial competitors, public institutions should be free to expand online and into different platforms. As trusted media brands, PSM contribute to the creation of an inclusive public sphere, enhanced civic engagement and informed citizenship.”

To read the full article, follow this link to Taylor and Francis Online.

Media Coverage of Science and Technology in Africa

Sponsored by UNESCO

Department of Journalism and Communication, Makere University

Principal Investigator: George W. Lugalambi, PhD



This paper critically analyses the role media has to play in facilitating the public understanding of science and technology across Africa. It does so against the backdrop of little or no previous studies on the subject, with few of them having systematically investigated the volume, quality, scope and perceptions of science and technology coverage.

This article seeks to amend this lack of previous research and explores coverage within the context of the contemporary media landscape of Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, and Uganda.

Click here for the full article.

Public policies for public service media

UK and the German policy cases, with warnings and lessons from the USA

A 2010 article by Prof. Peter Humphreys (University of Manchester) that focuses on the impact of new technologies and changing media markets on public service broadcasting. The first part of the article focuses on the impact of new technologies and changing media markets on PSB whilst the second focuses on how to maintain a plurality of content and public service players. US examples and broadcast experiences are used comparatively throughout this paper.

This article was published for the RIPE@2010 conference series.

For the full article, click here