Making Public Television Social? Public Service Broadcasting and the Challenges of Social Media

José van Dijck & Thomas Poell

Television & New Media

University of Amsterdam, Sage Publications



This article investigates how the rise of social media affects European public service broadcasting (PSB), particularly in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The article explores this interaction on three levels: the level of the institution, professional practice, and content. The authors go on to explore how PSBs cope with the challenges of social media and whether it can be used to engage audiences without compromising public values.


Throwing the Switch

An Update on the State of the Global Transition to Digital TV Broadcasting

John Burgess

Center for International Media Assistance, Washington, US



With 2015 being the deadline for many countries to make the switch from analogue broadcasting to digital, the CIMA has produced this report as an update to the progress of transition. It finds that many developing countries have yet to fully benefit from the move to digital broadcasting.


Verification Handbook

Image: EJC
This essential resource for journalists and aid providers offers the techniques, tools and step-by-step guidelines for how to deal with user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies.

Produced by the European Journalism Centre and authored by journalists from Storyful, the BBC and Digital First Media amongst others, the handbook gives “actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms, and best practices for how to verify and use information, photos and videos provided by the crowd“.

For access to this open source publication, click here.

For more access options, click here.

Ofcom 2015

Ofcom: Public Service Broadcasting in the Internet Age

Ofcom 2015This document, produced by the independent British broadcasting regulator, sets out its conclusions from its third review into public service broadcasting in the UK.

It assesses the performance of the PSB system as a whole and the potential challenges it faces in the future. It also looks to the methods that could be employed to maintain and strengthen PSB across the UK.

The report is published alongside various additions and annexes which assess PSB in each of the UK’s regions and nations specifically. These can be found here.


Women and Media Industries in Europe

Tarja Savolainen

Helsinki University

Nordicom Information 37 (2) 2015


Tarja Sovelainen offers an introductory overview of research into the progress made by the European Council in relation to the objectives set by the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, 1994. This paper particularly focuses on the role of women in the media, their representation, the use of balance and stereotypes, and the access of women to expression and decision-making in and through media outlets.

Full article available via Nordicom

Moving beyond the Borders of Top–Down Broadcasting

An Analysis of Younger Users’ Participation in Public Service Media

Anne-Sofie Vanhaeght and Karen Donders

Television & New Media

Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium

Sage Publications



This article analyses whether and to what extent public broadcasters have been able to transpose concepts like interaction, cocreation, and participation into actual media service delivery.

The article theoretically frames this discussion, first, by defining and operationalising interaction with, cocreation of, and participation in public service media (PSM), focusing mainly on participation, and, second, by analysing the challenges that emerge from these concepts.

To read the full journal article, click here.

Public Service and Community Media

Benedetta Brevini

The International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society

University of Sydney. John Wiley and Sons, Inc



This article outlines the similarities and differences between public service and community media. It offers a useful overview of their defining characteristics whilst situating them internationally and nationally in terms of their politics and funding mechanisms. The author goes on to explore their contemporary commercial and technological challenges.

To read the full article, click here.

New Zealand: Children’s Media Use Study

screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-15-22-35“How our children engage with media today”

This research produced by New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority elucidates to the changing use of media platforms by the country’s 6-14 year olds.

The paper finds that television is still the dominant format for children although the use of tablets and smartphones is rapidly rising. It states that this age range is the biggest differentiator in media behaviour, with usage evolving as the child grows older. However, there is a clear tipping point at the age of 11 when the use of Youtube and social media rise dramatically.

The report also highlights differences between social setting, background and ethnicity in the use of different media platforms, the level of exposure and content preferences.


CRTC: Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015

“The way forward – creating compelling and diverse Canadian programming”

Published in 2015, this regulatory policy paper by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) sets out the Commission’s findings on ways to build a future Canadian television system that encourages the creation of compelling and diverse programming made by Canadians.

The report looks to build on the current strengths of the Canadian television industry and take it into the future; ensuring its ability to develop alongside changing audience viewing habits and the growing use of on-demand services.


The Legitimacy of Public Service Broadcasting in the 21st Century

The Case of Scandinavia

Håkon Larsen

University of Oslo, Norway

Nordicom Review 35 (2014) 2, pp. 65-76


“The present paper examines the debate on the future of public service broadcasting in Norway and Sweden in the 2000s. I have analysed the discourses on PSB that dominate the public debate in the two countries, the cultural policy related to PSB, as well as the legitimising rhetoric of the Norwegian public service broadcaster Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK) and that of the Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT). Theoretically, the analysis draws on normative theories on the role of PSB in promoting democracy, culture and a well-functioning public sphere, as well as theories on democracy and the public sphere per se.”

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