House of lords report

Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever

Public service broadcasting: as vital as ever

By The UK House of Lords Select Committee on Communications

House of lords report
Credit: House of Lords
The House of Lords report on public service broadcasting in the age of video on demand concludes that PSBs are vital and in need of better support to produce high quality content and programming. But they also need to adapt to the changing media landscape in order to better serve audiences.

The report also reveals that public service broadcasting remains prominent within the UK and is a driver of the creative economy. Recommendations include the establishment of a new body called the BBC Funding Commission and to ensure that deals and plans are conducted with more transparency.

Read the PMA response to this report here.

PSB report

Rethinking Public Service Broadcasting’s Place in International Media Development

PSB report
Credit: CIMA

Rethinking Public Service Broadcasting’s Place in International Media Development

By Susan Abbott

This report re-evaluates the role of public service broadcasting (PSB) in the current, international media climate and what its future may hold. 

In her report, Abbott raises critical questions for the media development community regarding what PSB can bring to a crowded digital media environment to ensure media diversity and plurality, the role of donors, what the successes of PSB have been and what its future may entail. In clear and concise language, she also successfully manages to define core terms including what is PSB and how it sets itself apart from state-run broadcasting.

About the author:

Susan Abbott is an independent consultant who specializes in working with non-profit organizations, universities, and donors in the areas of media development, civil society assistance, and digital rights. Abbott provides consulting services for facilitating workshops and training programs, grant writing, monitoring and evaluation, and organizational capacity building.

[Text above sourced from CIMA]

Getting the Message Across

Getting the Message Across

Front cover. Credit: UNESCO
Reporting on Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific: A Handbook for Journalists

This book is a vital resource for journalists covering climate change. Through an exploration of the essential aspects of climate change, including its injustices to vulnerable communities and examples of best practice, UNESCO has published a book that effectively contextualises the severity of the issue to help journalists improve the way they report its environmental, social, economic ̧ political and technological implications.

“This Handbook is part UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication’s Series on Journalism Education. The series aims to reinforce the capacities of journalists, journalism educators and their institutions to promote sustainable development, by enhancing the abilities of journalists to report on science, development and democratic governance.”

Journalism, 'Fake News' and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training

Journalism, ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation: A Handbook for Journalism Education and Training (UNESCO)

This recent publication explores the key feature of journalism and seeks to guide readers on how to best navigate the news environment and fight against misinformation.

As journalism is constantly transformed and challenged by a wide range of factors, such as technology, politics and users interaction with the media, understanding how journalism works it’s becoming essential.

Written by experts from all around the world and published by UNESCO, this handbook includes modules on trust, critical thinking and social platforms, media literacy, fact checking and combating online abuse.

Given its structure, this handbook is particularly useful for journalism educators as well as media professionals and editors and all those interested in how information is shared and used.

RISJ 2018

RISJ Digital News Report 2018

RISJ Digital News Report 2018

This year’s edition of the ever comprehensive Reuters Institute Digital News Report highlights a fall in the use of social media for news in a number of key markets
RISJ 2018
Click image for full report

The extensive report is based on an online survey of 74,000 people from 37 countries, across five continents, and explores issues such as trust in the media, disinformation, viewing trends, podcasting and ad-blockers to name but a few. It also includes new literacy and brand trust for the first time.

A major finding in this year’s report is that the use of social media for news has significantly declined in France, the UK and the USA – the latter being down six percent. According to a summary by report author Nic Newman, the decline is due to a decrease in the discovery, posting, and sharing of news in Facebook. However, there has been a significant rise in the use of private messaging apps as a means to communicate, share and discuss news stories.

Other findings include a relatively stable average level of trust in news, with 44% of respondents claiming they trust it overall. This declines to 34% if referring specifically to news found via a search engine and 23% if found via social media.

With regards to fake news, the survey found that just over half of respondents are concerned about fake news, with the highest percentages found in countries with the “most polarised political situations”. 75% of respondents also believe that responsibility to fix unreliable news lies with publishers, while 71% believe the same for platforms, with some appetite for government intervention.

Find out more about this in-depth report by following the link below.

Trust in Ethical Journalism – The Key to Media Futures

EJN Report: Trust in Ethical Journalism – The Key to Media Futures

Ethical Journalism Network Press Release

If 2017 was the year the world finally woke up to the threat of disinformation and the way internet technologies are secretly and subtly used to undermine democracy, then 2018 is becoming the year when ethical journalism, a human instinct beyond encoding and algorithmic definition, finally gets the recognition it deserves.

This issue of Ethics in the News looks at how the communications revolution is continuing to pose more questions than answers over a public crisis of confidence, both in democracy and in sources of public information.

How do we build trust in journalism and news media? Must we sacrifice human rights and pluralism in return for free digital services? How do we stem the flow of hate speech, propaganda and malicious lies without endangering free speech? How do we pay for the journalism that democracy needs to survive?

Around the world these debates rage, but in some countries and regions, the arguments are anything but theoretical. The rise of populism accompanied by a discreet use of technology to target voters or promote hate speech is tearing into the fabric of democracy everywhere. In countries wracked by economic and social crisis or in the aftermath of war, these threats are a major obstacle to peace and development.

In this issue we examine the technological, political and social realities of the information crisis: how algorithms and artificial intelligence are setting a new and potentially troubling agenda; how advertising platforms and the business of social media are undermining public trust; how democracy and political elections are open to undue interference.

But it is not all bad news. From the Middle East and the Balkans there are inspiring stories of journalists and media working together, even across political divides, to develop new initiatives to challenge the hate-mongers. In Turkey a new spirit of media solidarity is in the air. In Africa there are new approaches to reporting terrorism and conflict and a fresh debate about the protection of authors’ rights in the digital age.

Everywhere ethical issues abound – improving the role and portrayal of women in media; combating discrimination and intolerance; improving coverage of migration and human trafficking; and, importantly for all journalists and media, building a sustainable future for journalism without surrendering the cardinal principle of editorial freedom and independence.

The messages are mixed, but they point in one direction, towards a communications landscape that people can trust. It won’t happen overnight, but such a vision will not be realised at all unless strategies for the future embrace public interest journalism, good governance in media, and a public information system rooted in ethics and transparency.

The Ethical Journalism Network is a partner of the Public Media Alliance. 

Pathways to Media Reform in Sub‑Saharan Africa: Reflections from a Regional Consultation

This report lays out a vision for how the continuing struggle for vibrant, independent, and plural media systems in the region might more effectively bolster efforts of democratic revitalization.

The report draws on the input of 36 experts in media and governance from 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa who met in Durban, South Africa, in July 2017, and it deepens the insights and ideas that came from this group by documenting previously successful media reforms in sub-Saharan Africa.


[Text sourced from CIMA]

Thumbnail Image: CIMA

In the Service of Power: Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy

This brilliant collection of essays explores media capture and the multifaceted threats facing independent journalism, beyond those posed by direct state control.

“In this volume of essays edited by Anya Schiffrin, media capture is shown to be a growing phenomenon linked both to the resurgence of authoritarian governments as well as to the structural weaknesses presently afflicting media markets. In this environment, political figures and economic elites are colluding to undermine the independence of privately-owned media, and efforts to stop this collusion by activists, regulators, and the international community have proven to be ineffective. CIMA is proud to present this collection and hopes it will inspire further research and thoughtful responses to this growing threat to democracies around the world.”

The is book is co-published by the Centre for International Media Assistance (CIMA) and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.


[Text sourced from CIMA]

The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This working paper explores the future of public service broadcasting (PSB) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in light of the complex situation it is currently facing.

Taking into consideration the challenges, development and most recent changes, this research argues that a transformation for a truly PSB in Bosnia and Herzegovina has failed so far in respect to the key elements of a public media system: funding, independence, remit and transition to new technologies.

The publication examines three main points that are relevant to understand PSB in Bosnia and its future prospects. Firstly, it discusses policies development for PSB, how they were adopted and who played a key role in the policy-making processes. Special attention is given to key actors such as the EU, local political elites, and civil society. Secondly, the paper analyzes the political, legal and financial factors that influenced the country’s current situation. Thirdly, the paper examines the way digitisation, convergence, new multimedia platform, and social media influence and change the PSB media system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its future prospects.

The paper was produced as part of the project “The prospect and development of public service media: Comparative study of PSB development in Western Balkans in light of EU integration“, which is currently exploring the present and future roles and positions of PSB in seven countries across the Western Balkans. The project has been carried out by the Center for Social Research Analitika in partnership with the University of Fribourg.


The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Serbia

This paper examines the status, role, and main challenges of the reform of the public service broadcasting (PSB) in Serbia.

The study address three main research aspects. The first is related to the current operation of the PSB in Serbia, taking into account its regulation, status, model of funding and program quality. The second assesses the entire process of creation of media policies and laws regulating the status of PSB in Serbia, including the actors in those processes, their relations and influence. The final aspect of the research addresses the main challenges of PSB in Serbia with regard to technology innovation and digitalization, use of the new media, and the PSB’s relation with the audience.

The paper was produced within the project “The prospect and development of public service media: Comparative study of PSB development in Western Balkans in light of EU integration” that investigates the position, role, functioning, and the future of public service broadcasters in six countries in the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia, taking into account the specific context in which these services developed and the role the European Union played in these processes.  The project is implemented by the Center for Social Research Analitika in partnership with the University of Fribourg(link is external).

This project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation(link is external), through the SCOPES (Scientific cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland) programme.

[Text by Davor Marko, sourced from the Center for Social Research Analitika]