There are more than 100 organisations around the world that self-identify as public service media.

But while many of these organisations are built upon the core values of public media – such as public funding, accountability, accuracy, impartiality and universalism – each varies in structure, in their operation, and the degree to which they adhere to each value.

They also differ according to the social, political, cultural and economic contexts of their national setting.

With this in mind, the Public Media Alliance has used publicly available data to provide an index of these organisations and the way in which they identify as public service media. The index will be used to analyse these organisations and the extent to which they provide value to the public in our new annual review.

Exploring the data

Simply scroll the page or use the dotted icons on the right hand side to browse the data.

The information is arranged by region and alphabetically.

This is an ongoing project for PMA and we would welcome input from members and other public media organisations. Please email with any suggestions or comments regarding the details we display for your organisation.  More organisations will be added in the coming weeks.


Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC)

Radio | Television | Online


in 23 Ghanaian


audience share
of GTV &
GTV Sports+


RSF World
Press Freedom

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Ownership: Government of Ghana

Ghana has one of the freest media landscapes in Africa – and worldwide. It has maintained 30th place in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index. The public broadcaster is also protected from political or editorial interference under the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Act 1968 and the 1992 Constitution as well as other legal provisions. The National Media Commission (NMC) is the regulator in Ghana that oversees media organisations in the country.

GBC is funded by a TV licence fee, which costs GHC36 (GBP6) annually and is supplemented by commercial revenue.

Ghana’s Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, is urging the GBC to clarify its identity and outline future plans for its growth. Oppong-Nkrumah has also suggested that the National Media Commission needs to set up a committee to assess GBC’s performance in recent years and address current challenges. Meanwhile, rumours about privatising GBC have been de-bunked, and GBC’s Director-General, Professor Amin Alhassan has stated that the public broadcaster requires  ‘… a deliberate government intervention in key areas like procuring of equipment, payment of electricity, as well as funding for their long-service award programme to be more productive.’

Other reports revealed that the GBC needs around GHC600 million for the live coverage of the 2020 Ghanaian Election Petition. In other news, GBC has been increasing its collaborations with different sectors. In early 2021, GBC announced a collaboration with the University of Environment and Sustainable Development to promote science programmes and support education in Ghana.

Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)

Radio | Television | Online


reach across
the country
via radio


different languages
for radio


Namibia has
the highest press
ranking in
Africa (RSF)

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Ownership: Government of Namibia

NBC is regulated and independently governed by the Namibian Broadcasting Act No. 9 of 1991. The public broadcaster is supervised and controlled by the NBC Board of Directors. The Minister of Information and Communication Technology appoints the Board members for a five-year period.

“The NBC Board, in turn, appoints a Director General. This Director General, the chief executive officer, is a member of the Board; he is, however, not entitled to exercise a vote at board meetings.”

[Text sourced from NBC]

NBC is primarily funded by an annual state subsidy. This is supplemented by an annual television licence fee, which costs N$ 204 (£12), although there are concessions for pensioners, disabled persons and households with multiple TV sets. Other sources of income derive from commercial activities including airtime and programme sales and renting out transmitters.

Broadcasting to around 1.6 million people daily on all its platforms, NBC reaches nearly 80% of the population. It also has a strong presence on all social media.

In recent years, NBC has dealt with a worsening financial crisis. In 2019, this resulted in the public broadcaster announcing cost-cutting measures, including reducing or suspending airtime across its radio and television channels. Some of these measures have since been lifted. Yet from 22 April 2021, the majority of NBC workers went on industrial action for a month on grounds of unfair working conditions after a series of negotiations between NBC management and the Namibian Public Workers Union (NAPWU) broke down. The leadership of both parties have since come to an agreement, which includes NBC management looking into reviewing contracts – one of the workers’ grievances was better job security. However, other demands, such as a salary increase and more employee benefits, have not been reviewed.

Even though NBC has risen to the challenge of covering COVID-19 by making information available in local languages and providing special COVID-19 programmes, the pandemic has further added to its funding woes due to declining advertising revenue and internet connectivity issues. According to Director-General, Stanley Similo, one of the NBC Board’s key priorities is for NBC to be a more “tech-savvy” public media organisation.

Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC)

Radio | Television | Online


watch SBC News
consistently, often
or sometimes


audience are
satisfied with


Seychelles is now
52nd in RSF's
2021 World Press
Freedom Index

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


The SBC Amendment Act 2017 acts as the premise for ensuring SBC’s commitment to objectivity and political neutrality and changed the way that the independent board of directors were appointed (under the SBC Act 2011, board members were appointed by the President of the Republic of Seychelles).   

Article 168 of the Constitution also guides SBC and makes provisions for it as an independent state-owned broadcaster. For example, Article 168(1) ensures that publicly funded media organisations operate independently of the state and are free from political or other influences. Meanwhile, Article 168 (2) provides facilities for a diversity of views within the public broadcaster. 

However, in its three-year Strategic Plan, SBC acknowledges that the broadcaster “should be represented by its Board (and CEO) during National Assembly summons. This should provide further reassurance to all stakeholders that the National Broadcaster is not under the government’s control.” 

SBC receives funding from the government budget and from advertising revenue.  

In its three-year Strategic Plan, SBC states its financial autonomy: “The SBC’s editorial independence is better safeguarded by a funding policy that does not make it dependent on the politicians of the day for approval of its funding for the coming year. SBC’s funding should ideally be via a medium-term funding mechanism that commits expenditure to the Corporation for four or five years or so, supported by an interim spending review. 

2/3 of its annual budget allocation is spent on staffing costs. Part of its ongoing funding strategy includes monetising its local production content and archives in order to make up for shortfalls in programme funding and reviewing staffing costs. 

According to SBC’s Audience Survey Report 2020, around 94% of respondents watch SBC News consistentlyoften or sometimes and 70% of respondents watch SBC TV (combined SBC1, SBC2, SBC3) for 2 or more hours on average in a day – an increase of 6% from 2019. 

Ahead of the general elections in October 2020, SBC published a press release to reaffirm its commitment to performing its mandate impartially, independently and in the public interest during the election period and beyond”, following criticism related to its election coverage. Looking ahead, its priorities include increasing the quality and quantity of its output – particularly its local content, ensuring that SBC is fit for a digital future, strengthening its governance and improving its financial situation. 

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

Radio | Television | Online


audience trust
in SABC News


national news
market share


network viewers
per month 

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

SABC is a state-owned company – with the government as its sole shareholder – and is guided by corporate government codes. The corporation is governed and controlled by a 15-member (12 non-executive and three executive) board of directors, in accordance with the Broadcasting Act No. 4 of 1999.  

Licence fee payments contribute to around 15% of SABC’s total income alongside commercial revenue.  

SABC enjoys a 73.2% radio market share. According to the broadcaster, all adults (15+ years) spend 3 hours and 36 minutes listening to radio across all its stations, amounting to a 92% (37.5 million) weekly reach and a 73% daily reach (29.9 million) on weekdays. 

SABC’s management team recently concluded its Section 189 (Retrenchment) process. More than 600 employees were retrenched. As of 1 April, the public broadcaster begun implementing its new structure to focus on becoming a ‘fit-for-purpose’ public media organisation and secure its long term sustainability.

Read our latest report: SABC completes retrenchment process and transitions to new structure


Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)

Radio | Television | Online


most trusted
media during
pandemic in
South Korea


of South Koreans
use KBS Weekly


available via
KBS World Radio

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

The fact that the Board of Governors and executives are appointed by the Korean President has raised concerns in recent years about the independence of KBS from the state. This has been recognised among KBS’ management and as a result, the public broadcaster has implemented measures, including amending the Broadcast Planning Regulation to better protect its independence. In its 2019 Annual Report, KBS stated:  

In order to institutionally establish the autonomy and independence of broadcasting production, the Broadcast Planning Regulation was amended for the first time in 16 years. We increased institutional effectiveness by making Planning Committee meetings mandatory and newly implementing a regulation for executive director appointment approval. We also created a new provision to guarantee independence, making it clear that we must maintain our independence from external pressure and unfair interference. 

KBS is funded by a licence fee that is levied alongside electricity fees. It also generates its own revenue through advertising.

Licence Fee: 2,500 won a month (the licence fee has been set at this price since 1981; however, recent proposals by the KBS Board of Directors considers increasing it to 3,840 won per month).

    • Licence Fee Income (end of 2019): 670.5 billion KRW 
    • Licence fee supplemented by advertisements.

KBS operates broadcasting stations in 9 major cities nationwide and broadcasting stations in 9 regions, and has opened overseas offices in 14 regions. 50% use KBS weekly (RISJ Digital News Report 2020).

50% trust in KBS News – 3rd highest online news brand (RISJ Digital News Report 2020). It was also considered the 2nd most trusted media outlet in South Korea in 2019 (The Korea Bizwire).

4, 701

During the COVID-19 pandemic, KBS launched the ‘COVID-19 Integrated Newsroom’ to help keep the nation informed with the latest COVID-19 information. Its extensive coverage placed KBS as the “most trusted media organisation and source of news among Korean viewers” during the pandemic in 2020.

KBS’ Board of Directors recently submitted a proposal to increase the licence fee to 3,840 won per month. If approved, this will be the first increase in the licence fee for 40 years. The fee has been earmarked at 2,500 won per month since 1981.

Read our latest report: Proposed licence fee amendments for public broadcasters in Japan and South Korea

Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK)

Radio | Television | Online


of audience
consider NHK
most trusted
outlet (RISJ)


Available in
160 countries


total income
from receiving

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Ownership: Public

NHK is a statutory corporation chartered under the Broadcasting Act of 1950. Articles 28-30 of the Broadcasting Act also set out the establishment, authority, and organisation of NHK’s Board of Governors (the decision-making body for management policy and operations). According to NHK, “The governors are approved by both houses of the Diet on behalf of the people of Japan and are appointed by the Prime Minister.” While annual budgets are also approved by the diet, NHK is an independent legal entity, funded by its viewers. 

  • Receiving fee: 13,990 yen per year (terrestrial); 24,770 yen per year (satellite)
    Received 699.5 billion yen from receiving fees (97.6%) of total operating income (FY 2018)
  • 54 Domestic broadcasting stations; 31 overseas offices.
  • NHK WORLD PREMIUM reaches approximately 20 million households in over 100 countries
  • 6 Domestic TV Channels:
    • Two terrestrial TV channels: General TV and Educational TV; Four satellite TV channels: BS 1, BS Premium, BS4K and BS8K
    • 3 radio channels: Radio 1, Radio 2 and FM
  • External channels:
    • NHK WORLD-JAPAN (English TV channel and Radio service for 17 languages); NHK WORLD PREMIUM (Japanese TV channel); NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN (Japanese Radio service)


NHK WORLD-JAPAN operates in 17 languages

Proposals have recently been put forward to decrease the cost of NHK’s licence fee by around 10% for fiscal year 2023. Plans have already been announced to cut NHK’s managerial staff by around 30% to help make up for the shortfall in revenue from the proposed reduction, among other cost-cutting measures.

Read our latest report: Proposed licence fee amendments for public broadcasters in Japan and South Korea


Public Television Service (PTS)

Television | Online


trusted source
of news in


Taiwan's 2020
Freedom House
score for freedom


of online PTS
traffic derived
from PeoPo

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

The PTS Act was legalised in 1997. The law stipulated the major mandate and performance of Taiwan’s public service broadcaster, and editorial guidelines were ratified by staff and management. This has since been continuously documented by PTS’ Board of Governors from 2005 onwards.

Amendments to the Broadcasting and Television Act, Cable Television Act, and Satellite Broadcasting Act in 2003 also ensure that government, political parties, and elected party officials cannot invest in broadcasting and television industries. PTS’ funding model also ensures that it remains independent from political or commercial interference. 

PTS has received a fixed annual appropriation since the PTS Act was legalised. Since 2003, other government grants are regularly disbursed into annual operation based on the projects of digitalisation proposed by the public broadcaster.  

To avoid relying on the government as a source of income, PTS Taiwan supplements government donations by self-funding through commercial sponsorship by public or private organisations that do not interfere with the nature of its programming; personal donations through the ‘Friends of Public Television’ membership system and other activities including programme marketing and studio rentals. Three special grants also come from the Cable Radio & Television Development Fund, the Divestment of Shares in Terrestrial Television Act, and funding by the Development of National Languages Act. 

Total revenue (2019): NTD 2,224,864,868 (USD 74,211,636). 

Government grants included = NTD 900,000,000 (USD30,020,013) 

In 2020three PTS executives stepped down from their positions following a dispute about a new international programming platform that the Ministry of Culture originally proposed to be hosted by PTS. 

Thai Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Radio | Television | Online


years since it
became an
established PSB


Thai PBS is
one of the most
trusted sources
of news in Thailand

2 billion THB

received from
'Sin tax' funding
per year

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Thai PBS is protected from political or commercial influence under the Public Broadcasting Service Act of Thailand 2008.

Thai PBS also has a policy committee, which has been selected through an independent and transparent process.

Thai PBS receives income from excise taxes, also known as ‘sin tax’, which is collected from liquor and tobacco sales. The tax is earmarked between 1.5 – 1.8 percent, and does not exceed THB 2 billion per year.

According to the RISJ 2021 Digital News Report, Thai PBS’s offline weekly reach is 25%, it is the second highest reaching broadcaster online, reaching around 32% of respondents weekly.

It is also one of the most trusted sources of news in Thailand, with 70% of those surveyed stating that they trust the public broadcaster.

In its 14th year, Thai PBS has sharpened its focus on audience engagement, putting the ‘audience first’ and at the heart of its public broadcaster.

Thai PBS also contributes to society through social and cultural campaigns and initiatives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Thai PBS offered its educational resource, ‘Thai PBS Learning Shelf’, a kit that consists of DVDs, Thai PBS programmes and various other learning and skills-building materials, to several government departments and education institutions.

The public broadcaster launched three new online channels dedicated to real-time updates, including a section for its citizen journalism initiative. Meanwhile, the Thai PBS Foundation launched a campaign to invite donations to help fund the purchase of televisions, set-top boxes and other equipment and accessories needed for schoolchildren to access educational content at home.+

Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Radio | Television | Online

296 hrs

rolling bushfire
31 Dec 2019 -
13 Jan 2020


people used ABC
Education portal
in April 2020

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

ABC independence is assured by the ABC Board under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983. The Managing Director is the Editor-in-Chief who has ultimate editorial power and responsibility.

The organisation receives state subsidies allocated by the Federal Government while maintaining its editorial independence.

Government funding:

2019-2020: A$1,062.3 million – up 1.6% from prior year

2018-2019: A$1,045.9 million – – up 0.2% from prior year

2017-2018: A$1,043.7 million

Other funding sources, including ABC Commercial:

2019-2020: Other funding sources not yet published.

2018-2019: A$62.5 million – down 4% from prior year

2017-2018: A$65.1 million


72% of Australians agree that ABC News is the ‘most trusted source of news and current affairs’ in Australia’ (Australian Broadcasting Corporation Annual Report 2020).

A breakdown of reach across all platforms:


Broadcast television has a reach of 19.4 million Australians each week

(OzTAM and Regional TAM,


Total ABC Radio average weekly reach in the five-city metropolitan markets was 4.92 million aged 10+, up 128,000 listeners on the 2017-2018 result (up 2.7%)


ABC Online

The average monthly reach of ABC Online in Australia was 11.0 million or 45% of Australians.

(Nielsen DCR,

ABC News (2020)

TV and radio have a 41% weekly use and 29% for more than 3 days per week

Online has a weekly use of 23%, and 15% more than 3 days per week

ABC International

Each month, ABC International reaches a unique overseas audience of 10,967,000 through broadcast television, radio and ABC websites and apps.

ABC Australia: The international television service is available in 40+ markets across the Asia Pacific and the Indian Subcontinent. It has a monthly viewership of at least 2,183,000

ABC Radio Australia: There are 407,000 listeners of ABC Radio Australia each month in the Pacific.

In 2018-2019 there were 8.6 million online streams of ABC radio services by international audiences. This equates to 6% of global streams

(Webtrends, Google Analytics,

ABC Websites and apps:

Each month there are 8,981,000 users.


ABC has a dedicated emergency website

For more information about their extensive coverage, click here.

As part of its core remit to educate, ABC expanded its educational services during school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic by producing additional curriculum-linked content for children of all ages. It also provided additional online support through the ABC Education portal, which saw 766,000 users in April 2020 – an increase of 239% compared with the same time last year.

Radio New Zealand (RNZ)

Radio | Online


of audience
trust RNZ



Daily traffic
growth during

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

RNZ is mostly government funded with a small proportion of its income generated from third party revenue.
  • Government funding: $43,375,000 (2018: $38,959,000)
  • Other revenue: $2,263,000 (2018: $2,350,000)
    (Other revenue consists of rental revenue from property leases, co-siting revenue, interest income and other income)

RNZ National and Concert are funded by New Zealand On Air (an independent government funding agency) and RNZ Pacific is funded by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Source: RNZ Annual Report 2019


75% of New Zealanders consumed RNZ content in the last year

RNZ’s total weekly audience in June 2019 was estimated at 1,017,393 across all platforms

Combined weekly unique radio and online people who use any of our services: 1,017,393 (2017-2018: 845,945)


Among all radio listening in New Zealand, RNZ National has a market share of 12.6% for 2020 (2019: 11.7%)

  • RNZ National: Weekly cumulative audience in 2020 = 654,300 (2018-2019 = 626,900; 2017-2018 =606,300)
  • RNZ Concert: Weekly cumulative audience in 2020 = 242,600 (2018-2019 = 172,600)
  • RNZ National and RNZ Concert (combined): Weekly cumulative audience in 2020 = 760,300, or 16.3% of the NZ population (2018-2019 = 694,700, 2017-2018 =682,700)

Source: GfK Radio Audience Measurement, All Radio Stations,


By June 2019 more than 793,000 users were accessing weekly, 32% up year-on-year

Average monthly users of RNZ’s websites: 2,555,310 (2017-2018: 1,968,578)

Source: Google Analytics,


Number of Pacific Island radio stations incorporating RNZ services: 21 stations (2017-2018: 17 stations) Source: RNZ internal data,

Page-views of RNZ Pacific International website: 7,990,370 (2017-2018: 6,429,885) Source: Google Analytics,

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Online Audiences for
  • In a typical month in 2019 almost 3 million users visited the RNZ website.  As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic traffic increased to 7.23million in March, up 114% from February
  • On an average week in 2019 847,000 users visited In the two weeks when the lockdown was announced traffic increased to 2.75m and 3.03m respectively
  • Daily traffic has grown to 394,000 users since New Zealand’s first case of Covid-19 was announced, up from 161,000 users on a typical day last year       (increase of 145%)

Source: Google Analytics,


During 2019 the RNZ app attracted 52,000 users each week, this has increased to 72,000 in 2020, and reached 101,000 during lockdown


Last year RNZ’s Facebook channel typically had 553,000 users each week, so far in 2020 RNZ’s Facebook audience has grown to 936k. In the past five weeks user numbers have ranged from 1.2 million and 2.4 million

  • Podcast and audio content downloads/streams
  • Downloads of podcasts and other audio from the RNZ website reached 1.8 million last month, up from 1.55m in February
  • Plays/downloads of RNZ content on other platforms also shows impressive growth in February (797,000), March (1,096,000) and April (1,144,000)
  • In 2019, users of streamed 61,000 pieces of audio content each week.  Since lockdown this has increased to more than 90,000almost 50% higher than last year

After discussions about a new public media entity in New Zealand were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have recently re-emerged. The new public media entity would replace RNZ and government-owned, commercial broadcaster, Television New Zealand (TVNZ). A Government Group, consisting of a group of eight media experts, established in March, has been tasked with exploring the viability of a new public media entity. However there are concerns about its potential mixed model funding structure and independence.

Read our latest report: Group of experts to develop case for new public media entity in New Zealand

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

Radio | Television | Online


audiences agree
SBS helps Aus to
be more successful
multicultural nation


growth in
audience trust
in 2019-2020

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

SBS’s Board of Directors exists to ensure the independence of SBS and its efficient and cost-effective functioning, decide policies and strategies, that it works closely with Australia’s other public broadcaster (ABC)and that it fulfils its Charters’ responsibilities. Other duties undertaken by the Board are outlined in section 10 of the SBS Act. 

SBS is funded partly through federal sources and by generating its own revenue through advertising and the sale of goods and services. In 2019-2020, it received an appropriation from the government of $290.054 million (70.7% of its operating revenue) and generated $120,398 (28.9%) million in sales and advertising. 

11.9 million Australians reached on TV each month across the SBS network. 

2.2 million Australians reached by NITV each month. 

94% of audiences say SBS helps them find content they couldn’t find anywhere else. 

Serves around 97% of the population. 

Trust in SBS News increased by six percentage points in 2019-20. According to RISJ’s Digital News Report 2020, it is the second most trusted news brand in Australia (71%), just below ABC News. 

SBS Radio offers programming in 68 languages for audiences whose first language is not English.  

1451 employees. 

37.5% of SBS employees were born overseas. 

SBS reacted to the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic by launching a dedicated multi-lingual COVID-19 portal in 63 languages. It has experienced impressive audience growth, recording over12million playsand podcast downloads in March and April 2020 and increased traffic online. 


Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Offentlich-Rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands (ARD)

Radio | Television | Online


approx. daily
listeners under 30
to radio programme


of television
per day


trusted news
brand in

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

In its Public Value brochure, ARD states: “Public funding, coupled with oversight by society through supervisory boards, ensures that reporting is reliable, fair and free of political and commercial influences.”

ARD’s mandate and remit are set out in state broadcasting statutes and the German State Media Treaty – the latter is determined by all state parliaments and provides basic regulations for public and private broadcasting and determines, among other things, the number of channels that is adequate to provide a public service and how much funding ARD receives from radio fees and advertising.

While all regional broadcasters are self-governing – they have their own board of directors and broadcasting councils – the supervisory body, the GVK, examines the joint activities of the ARD network, coordinates the committee activities of ARD, and advises on programme design, corporate strategy and more.

The chairmanship of ARD rotates between the regional broadcasters. Each term lasts one year but chairmanship can be renewed once. Thomas Buhrow of WDR has been the chairman since January 2020. The chairman conducts the activities of the working group, manages general meetings, and at the end of a term of management, submits a final report to the general meeting. The chairman and managing broadcaster (currently WDR) are supported in matters such as ARD’s strategy, representation and public relations, by the general secretariat, based in Berlin.

By law, every German household must pay a monthly fee of EUR 17.50 to support public television and radio (ARD, ZDF, and Deutschlandradio). The fee collects about EUR 8 billion annually from 45 million households. The household fee was introduced in 2018. Before then, the fee was charged according to the number of devices (television, radio, or computer devices) per household. Commercial businesses are also charged for property and based on their staff size. In 2018, the fee’s method of collection was the subject of a court case before Germany’s top court and it was ruledthat the monthly fee based by household is constitutional.

In providing a breakdown of the use of the EUR 17.50 monthly fee for 2018 and 2019, ARD said, “Since January 1, 2017, ARD’s share of the monthly 17.50 euros has been 12.31 euros (previously 12.37 euros).”

According to ARD’s ‘Mass Communication’ study, television reaches around 80% of the population daily and radio reaches around 74%.

ARD’s news programme, ‘Tagesschau’ is the most trusted news brand in Germany, with around 70% of people claiming to trust it, according to the RISJ Digital News Report 2020.

ARD’s reach is expanding via new social media platforms. On TikTok, ARD’s largest audience group is between 13 and 17 years old. ARD’s editor-in-chief for social media said “These are students who often come into contact with news on our account for the very first time. We try to create understandable access and to answer their questions about politics and society in our videos.”

ARD has continued to produce special programming on the coronavirus pandemic, providing in-depth news and information about the current situation in Germany and educational home-schooling offers for children and young people. Barrier-free information has been made available in sign language and plain language.

ARD media workers also experienced verbal and physical attacks while covering anti-lockdown protests last year.

Since plans to increase the licence fee for ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandradio to €18.36 by the start of 2021 were rejected after Saxony-Anhalt was the only state to refuse to vote in its favour, all German public broadcasters have implemented cost-cutting measures and restructuring processes to address financial pressures. (More information about ARD’s specific reforms and cost-cutting here.)

In June 2020, ARD and ZDF announced the development of a joint streaming network, which will connect their shared library of over 250,000 films, documentaries, satires and series.

Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR)

Radio | Television | Online


most trusted
news brand
in Denmark


ranked third
in RSF's World
Press Freedom
index (2020)

DKK 428m

worth of cuts
implemented in

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Publicly owned

All persons above the age of 18 who own a licensed device (radio, television sets, and internet access) are required by law to pay a licence fee.

2020 licence fee cost: DKK 676.50 semi-annually (DKK 112.75 monthly)
2019 licence fee cost: DKK 963.50 semi-annually (DKK 160.58 monthly)

Source: Executive Order on media license

In March 2018, a decision was made to gradually phase out the licence fee until 2022. From then, “public service” will instead be financed through a tax. In the same year, the Danish government and the Danish People’s Party (DF) approved a budget cut that would reduce DR’s overall expenditure by 20% across five years, which was expected to negatively impact its public service remit and the future of media plurality in Denmark. By 2023, it was expected that there would be a cut of DKK 689 million.

DR implemented the first phase of the cuts through a “savings and development plan” for the 2019-2021 period, which amounted to DKK 428 million. However, the full extent of the cuts were considerably reduced following the election of the social democratic government in 2019, according to DR’s December 6 2020 newsletter. While DR undertook the first phase, the new government and supporting parties passed the Fiscal Act for 2021 in which the second phase of cuts were abandoned.

DR is managed by an 11-member executive board appointed for a period of four years. The Minister of Culture appoints three of its members (including the chairman), Parliament appoints six, and DR employees appoint two. According to DR, “The Executive Board has the overall responsibility for the financial management of DR and for ensuring that the regulations of the Radio and Television Broadcasting Act are respected. The Executive Board also establishes the guidelines for DR’s activities and appoints the members of the Management Board.”

According to RISJ’s 2020 Digital News Report, DR News is the most trusted news brand in Denmark and has the most reach across television, radio, and online. In 2019, 93.1% used one or more of DR’s offers weekly.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DR focused on reassuring young people and began by increasing Ultra Nyt (Ultra News), “its daily new programme for nine to 14-year-olds, starting with a package explaining COVID-19 to its audience.” Ultra Nyt typically airs on DR TV (DR’s on-demand service) but moved to the main channel DR1 and at a primetime slot to cater to children and their parents by providing them with news on what was happening in Denmark and abroad. DR also “produced segments on how children could talk to parents about the pandemic and deal with fear during such turbulent times” (EBU 2020, Media Case Studies).

Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR)

Radio | Television | Online


of Estonians
trust ERR


how much ERR
costs the
taxpayer monthly


Estonia's ranking
in RSF's 2021 World
Press Freedom

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Ownership: Public

Public broadcasting is governed by the National Broadcasting Council, which includes a representative from each parliamentary party and several experts. The Council supervises the performance of ERR’s objectives and functions, and reports to the parliamentary Cultural Affairs Committee. It also approves ERR’s budget, determines the structure of public broadcasting, and can determine the number of programme services. The chairman of the National Broadcasting Council is Rein Veidemann.

The Management Board represents ERR and deals with everyday economic activities. It is appointed for five years by the National Broadcasting Council. The Management Board is guided by the budget, development plan and strategic documents approved by the Council. It is also advised by the Public Advisory Board, which is appointed by the Council. Erik Roose has been the chairman of ERR’s Management Board since 2017.

ERR also has an appointed ombudsman/ethics advisor – Tarmu Tammerk – who reports to the National Broadcasting Council twice a year and makes proposals to the Council and Management Board on an ongoing basis.

In Estonia, the media regulator – the Consumer Protection and Technical Surveillance Authority – is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, while broadcasting policy is formulated by the Ministry of Culture.

ERR is funded primarily from the state budget. The remainder of ERR’s revenue comes from the sale of goods and services and other financial activities.

In 2020, ERR received €39,030,000 from the state budget. The Public Broadcasting Act prohibits ERR from broadcasting advertisements in almost all cases.

ERR’s 2022-2025 Development Plan proposes that, to ensure its independence and to meet its strategic objectives, funding should at least match the average level of funding for PSBs in the European Union. It also suggests that ERR’s funding should be linked to Estonia’s economic development.

ERR broadcasts regionally, nationally, and internationally. ERR has foreign correspondents in Moscow, Brussels, Washington DC, and Finland.

ETV is the most watched channel and ERR’s Vikerraadio is the most listened to radio station in Estonia. In 2020, ERR television channels received a total of 21.9% of real-time viewing, but only Raadio 4 – ERR’s Russian language service – saw its share of listeners increase from the previous year.

ERR’s Russian language television channel is ETV+. Launched in 2015, ETV+ aims to challenge the Russian state’s media sphere, although ERR deny the claim that ETV+ is Estonian propaganda. Having launched with a budget of €4 million, the channel’s budget is now just over €2 million. Despite this decreased funding, ETV+ reported almost 400,000 viewers in May 2021.

The number of visitors to the ERR online portal is also steadily increasing. It received 713,000 visitors per week in 2020. The portal is also available in English and Russian. When launched, ERR declared that the main aim of the English language portal – ERR News – is to inform the international community about Estonia. More recently, it has been linked to the fight against foreign disinformation campaigns.

Roughly two thirds of visits to the English language portal are from abroad. A weekly update called The Global Estonian Report targets the Estonian diaspora. It mainly reports on Estonian cultural events around the world.

ERR is planning the construction of a new broadcasting complex.

ERR’s radio programme “Media Hour” discusses various issues including the public broadcaster’s coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

ERR has come under pressure from commercial media organisations in recent times. In 2020, The Estonian Association of Media Enterprises (EML), which represents TV, radio, print and online media, filed a complaint with the European Commission on grounds of “unfair competition”, arguing that state funding that contributes towards ERR’s online news services harms healthy competition in the Estonian media market.

France Télévisions (FT)

Radio | Television | Online


audience share
in 2019


children engage
with at least one
youth programme


must cut
costs by 2022

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

While France Télévisions is state-owned, its independence is assured in part by the fact it is funded through a licence fee. 

“The board of directors of France Télévisions has internal regulations which govern the operation and powers of this body and set up three specialized committees as well as a commitments subcommittee.” 

FT receives the majority of its funding from the Public Audiovisual Contribution (CAP) – what was previously the audiovisual licence fee. This is used to support all French public broadcasters. All individuals that are eligible to pay housing tax and own a television set must pay the 139 euros per year tax. Additional income comes from advertising revenue.

FT’s budget for 2018 was €2.8 billion.

Proposals to amend the audio-visual law, which would create a public media “superstructure” to bring together Radio France, France Television France Médias Monde and The National Audiovisual Institute (INA) under one holding company, ‘France Médias’ were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latvijas Televīzija (Latvian Television)

Television | Online


of Latvians find
Latvian Television


Latvian Television
is 100% state-funded


in RSF's 2021
World Press
Freedom Index

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Latvian Television is state-owned.

LTV is currently regulated by the National Electronic Media Council (NEPLP). This council is functionally independent, although reliant upon state funding and elected by the Latvian parliament. Ivars Āboliņš has been the chairperson of the NEPLP since 2019. In the same year, the NEPLP was criticised for selecting inexperienced board members for Latvian Television. These members resigned and the NEPLP subsequently reduced the size of the LTV board to just one member. The current single member of the Latvian Television board is Ivars Priede.

However, the Law on Public Electronic Mass Media and Administration Thereof, which came into effect in January 2021, provides for the creation of the Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP), which will be separate from the existing NEPLP and act as the shareholder of public media, holding responsibility for the management and development of public media. The SEPLP is not yet active as its membership has not been approved by parliament. Once all three members are confirmed, the new council will be tasked with developing a unified funding model for public media and implementing a plan to merge Latvian Television and Latvian Radio into a single entity.

Latvian Television is 100% state funded.

Until 2021, PSM in Latvia operated under a hybrid funding model. The state provided 60% of Latvian Television’s funding, with the remaining funding coming from advertising. Latvian Radio had previously drawn attention to the small portion of the state budget received by Latvian PSM, compared to PSM in other European countries, and talked of a funding crisis.

As of 2021, Latvian Television, Latvian Radio and the are funded solely by the Latvian state, having secured the required government funding for their exit from the advertising market. €8.3 million has been allocated to PSM for the 2021 budget, to ensure its stability and development.

However, the current funding model is considered restrictive and unstable, according to Jānis Siksnis of the Baltic Centre for Media Excellence, who supports a tax-based model. Siksnis has been announced as one of the nominations to the new Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP) but is still awaiting appointment by parliament. The recent law which established the SEPLP also states that annual funding for public media from the state budget must not be less than that of the previous of the year.

In 2019, 69.6% of Latvians thought that PSM should be state-funded. The study found that only 14.6% would support a licence fee funding model.

In 2016, LTV1 was the second most watched channel. Latvian Television’s other channel, LTV7, features selected Russian language broadcasts.

VISIEMLTV, launched in 2017, is an online channel targeting the Latvian diaspora. The channel’s programming is sourced from LTV’s other two channels, but unlike them, it can be streamed live from outside of Latvia.


Latvian Television began broadcasting in HD resolution in May 2021.

The chairman of the NEPLP has announced that a new, more ambitious, Russian language multimedia platform is set to take over the role of Latvian Television’s LTV7. It will also be hosted by the LSM portal.

The parliamentary vote to approve the three nominated members of the new Public Electronic Media Council (SEPLP) is expected to take place in early July but the President of Latvia has yet to announce his nomination.

Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF)

Radio | Television | Online


weekly national


of Austrians use
an ORF service
each week


revenue from
broadcast fee

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

At the head of ORF’s executive management is the Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, who has been the Director General of ORF since 2007.

Director Generals are appointed by the Foundation Council (Stiftungsrat) for five-year terms.  The Foundation Council appoints the remaining members of ORF’s executive management – the financial, TV-programme, radio and technical directors – as well as directors for the federal states, based upon the Director General’s suggestions. The council is organised into the Committee for finances and technology and the Programme Committee. Its approval is also required for various legal transactions.

The Foundation Council has four-year terms. Dr Norbert Steger and Dr Franz Medwenitsch have been chairman and deputy chairman respectively since being elected by the membership in 2018.

The Foundation Council has 35 members. Six of these are from political parties. They are appointed by the Federal Government in proportion to the parties’ representation in the National Council and based upon the proposals of those parties. Nine members are appointed by the federal states. Another nine are appointed directly by the federal government. Six members are appointed by the Audience Council and five by the Central Staff Council (Zentralbetriebsrat).

The Audience Council (Publikumsrat), ORF’s other governing body, serves four-year terms and consists of 31 members appointed by various societal institutions as well as political parties. This council advises ORF’s management on issues from programming to technical expansion. The Audience Council can also carry out polls, approve resolutions by the Foundation Council regarding the programme fee, and summon the broadcasting regulator to investigate suspected violations. It divides its work between seven committees.

ORF is regulated by the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria), which also allocates frequencies and licences for private broadcasting, monitors the use of advertising by public and private broadcasters and administers the press subsidy scheme. Appeals against KommAustria’s decisions can be made before the Federal Administrative Court.

The five members of KommAustria must not have active ties to government or ORF. They serve six-year terms but can be reappointed. They are appointed by the Federal President upon the proposal of the Federal Government and with the agreement of the main committee of the lower house of the Austrian parliament.

The Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR) acts as KommAustria’s secretariat and provides it with operational support. The Media Division of RTR is also responsible for the allocation of money from various media-related funds, including the Fund for Digitalisation. The two authorities are separate legal entities whose duties and responsibilities are defined by the KommAustria Act.

Roughly 60% of ORF’s funding comes from a broadcasting fee. The entire broadcasting fee is between €20.93 and €26.73 per month. Federal states determine the exact amount themselves.

However, ORF only receives a portion (67%) of broadcasting fee revenue, called the “programme fee”. This amounts to €0.55 per day, or €16.78 per month. This revenue is invested directly into ORF’s programmes and services – towards expenses such as content production, broadcasting and technical equipment, regional studios, and licences.

ORF’s remaining funding comes from advertising revenue and other income. In 2019, ORF’s revenue from advertising was €219.5 million (compared to €643 million from the “programme fee”).

The Fees Info Service (GIS) is the authority responsible for collecting the broadcasting fee.

ORF has around three quarters of the radio market share and Ö3 has the highest listenership in Austria with over 2.5 million listeners per day.

In 2018/19, ORF had 29.8% of the television market share with 74.4% of Austrians watching ORF television programmes every week. On average, 50.6 % of Austrians are watching daily.

Meanwhile, ORF claims to be the most successful German language media service. It receives 93.5 million online visits per month and its media library is used by 10% of Austrian internet-users every week. In addition, by October 2020, ORF’s second screen apps had been downloaded over 9.75 million times.

ORF also engages in what it calls Humanitarian Broadcasting – a series of social campaigns and initiatives, which have included programmes to raise money for those in need and events promoting sustainability.

As of May 2020, ORF’s online portal is available in easy German, making daily news – especially related to the coronavirus pandemic – more accessible to people with different language abilities. This was achieved through cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency. Easy German programmes are also available on ORF III and Radio Wien.

In 2020, ORF 1 and ORF 2 broadcasted 12,186 hours of subtitled programming for those with hearing difficulties and 1,517 hours of audio-described programming for those visually impaired.

ORF’s new streaming platform is expected to be launched following the election for ORF’s General Director in August. It will be called ORF On.

The election for the Director General of ORF is set to take place on 10th August 2021. However, there are concerns regarding the secrecy and delayed nomination of the Foundation Council, which has a ÖVP-friendly majority for the first time in decades. The current Director General, Alexander Wrabetz, is so far the only person to have announced his candidacy.

In July, ORF’s editorial committee unanimously passed a resolution calling for an amendment to the law to increase ORF’s independence.

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)

Radio | Television | Online


remains most
trusted source
of news in ROI (78%)


RTÉ One has
an audience
reach of 80.3%


more 15-34s
are watching
RTÉ in 2020

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

RTÉ is a statutory body overseen by a board appointed by the Republic of Ireland’s government.

RTÉ is dual funded. It is part-funded by the Licence Fee, which costs €160 a year. Any household with a television set must pay. Money goes to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, which then provides RTÉ with 85% of the amount. The remaining income comes from advertising and other commercial activities.

Breakdown of 2018 revenue:

Commercial Revenue: €150,000,000 (2017: €151,500,000)

Licence Fee Revenue: €189,100,000 (2017: €186,100,000)

Total Revenue: €339,100,000 (2017: €337,600,000)

RTÉ One has a reach of 80.3% and a share of 21 (October 2020). RTÉ is reaching over 2 million radio listeners (2,004,000) every week, representing 51% of the adult 15+ population. This is an increase of 26,000 people tuning in since the last JNLR release and 20,000 more on this time last year on year.

Meanwhile, 55% of Irish adults use a digital service from RTÉ every week. According to the B&A Survey published in November 2019, RTÉ.ie is the Number 1 multi-media website in Ireland, used by 38% of Irish adults and 13 million monthly unique browsers.

RTÉ also remains the most trusted source of news amongst Irish adults (77%).

In June 2021, the Irish Media Commission shared in a Parliamentary hearing that they were seriously considering moving away from a device-dependent licence fee – which they believe is now “outdated” – and replacing it with a household levy and possibly receiving direct Government funding (although this avenue would require a detailed review to ensure that RTÉ remains independent from political interference.

According to TRP research released in May 2020, RTÉ was considered the most recognised brand for supporting the nation during the COVID-19 crisis.

3.9 million individuals or 90% of the Irish TV population tuned in to RTÉ’s television services over the 11-week period (2nd March to 17th May 2020). It was also a widely used source among younger viewers, with 35% more 15-34s are watching RTÉ, and 30% more children tuning in.

At 31 December 2018, there were 1,822 employees.

Swedish Radio (SR)

Radio | Online

7 million

of weekly


general public
confidence in


World Press
Freedom Index
Ranking 2021 (RSF)

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Since 1997, SR – along with Sweden’s other public broadcasters, SVT and UR – has been owned by Förvaltningsstiftelsen, a management foundation funded by the public. The foundation was created to promote the independence of the country’s three public broadcasters by acting as a buffer between them, the Riksdag (legislature) and the government. The foundation is responsible for appointing SR’s 9-member board (one chairman and eight members). Currently, there are no politicians on SR’s board (nor that of SVT and UR).  

Furthermore, SR operates under a broadcasting licence from the government, which mandates that it “shall conduct audio radio operations in the service of the public and that the operations shall be characterised by independence and strong integrity and be conducted independently in relation to economic, political and other interests.” When it comes to funding, SR states that to strengthen independence and maintain distance from the state, “Even if the public service fee is not formally included in the state budget, there is still a risk that public service will be weighed against other expenses in a way that was not done before, when the activities were financed with the radio and television fee. The Government has therefore appointed an inquiry to review the possibility of constitutionally protecting public service, which would mean that a qualified majority would be required for certain decisions on operations and financing.

SR is funded through a public service fee that is charged via the tax slip. “The public service fee must be paid by anyone over the age of 18 who has a taxable earned income. The fee is 1 percent of the income up to a ceiling, at most SEK 1,300 per person and year.” SR receives 35.9% of the public service fee. The funding terms identify SR’s annual financial resources and its expected deliverables. The public service fee was introduced on 1 January 2019 after the radio and television fee (which was charged for households in possession of a television receiver) was scrapped. It was introduced due to the belief that radio and television play a key role in public service and must therefore be funded collectively, regardless of someone’s individual usage. The funds from the public service fee “go to a special account managed by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. The money is reserved for the three public service companies and cannot be used for anything else.”  

SR records around 7 million listeners each week. According to SR, it has a “high level of trust among listeners”. It said that, throughout the 2000s, around 70% of the population have consistently reported very high or fairly high confidence in its content. 

SR also revealed that confidence among the public increased during the COVID-19 pandemic: “The SOM Institute today presents a survey on media confidence development during the coronavirus pandemic. Sveriges Radio’s confidence increases, especially among the groups that consume a lot of news, where 87 percent have high or very high confidence in Sveriges Radio. Among the general public, confidence increases to 74 percent. Together with sharply increased listener numbers during the spring, it shows that media consumers turn to Swedish Radio when they are looking for updated and correct information in a crisis situation.”

According to SR, it broadcasts “news and programmes in over ten languages, four nationwide channels, 25 local channels, the digital content with all podcasts and the Berwaldhallen concert hall with choir and orchestra.” Furthermore, SR said its transmission is divided into five core components: the news assignment; the emergency mission; the cultural mission; radio for children and young people; and accessibility and participation for all (with particular focus on people with disabilities, children and young people, and languages for all).

SR broadcasts in more than 10 languages, including Sweden’s national minority languages (Finnish, Sami, Meänkieli, Romani Chib and Yiddish) and languages spoken by new arrivals (Arabic, English, Kurdish, Persian, Somali, and Tigrinya – a temporary investment). SR also provides what it calls “easy Swedish”, which sees the use of a simpler language and more in-depth background explanations to cater for newcomers to Sweden. 

In early 2020, SR announced that its mission for the next few years would be to develop its digital news offerings: “We are looking at what the local radio of the future will be, to ensure that Sweden’s largest radio channel P4 – with 3.4 million listeners – continues to give the audience a radio that is present in people’s everyday lives. We also review radio sports, events and charts to find the best ways to reach all our target audiences, no matter how they want to listen.” Further emphasis has been placed on local coverage: in September 2020, SR announced that it would open pop-up editorial offices for its P4 Channel, for three weeks at a time, in three locations, in a bid to strengthen the journalistic coverage of more remote and rural regions.

SR’s mission:
Info SR’s management foundation: 
SR’s public service mandate: 
Info on SR’s funding: 
SR’s broadcast languages: 
SR’s announcement of pop-up offices: 
Press release on increased public confidence in SR: 

Swedish Television (SVT)

Television | Online


SVT platforms


trusted news
brand in


reach in

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information


SVT is limited company owned by Förvaltningsstiftelsena foundation funded by the public. The foundation was created in 1997 to promote the independence of Sweden’s three public broadcasters by acting as a buffer between theand the Riksdag (legislature) and the government. While its 13-member board is formally appointed following proposals from the political partiesactive members of the Riksdag cannot serve as members of the foundation. The foundation is responsible for appointing SR’s 9-member board (one chairman and eight members). 

SVT is funded through a public service fee that was introduced in January 2019 due to the belief that radio and television play a key role in public service and must therefore be funded collectively, regardless of someone’s individual usage. The fee is collected via the tax slip, which charges 1% of the taxable earned income of anyone over the age of 18, up to a ceiling of SEK 1,300 per person annually. 

SVT receives 58.9% of the public service fee. Most of SVT’s income comes from the tax (SEK 5.100 million in 2019) while it receives other income from sponsoring, royalties, co-productions, appropriation, products, technology, and licences (SEK 303 million in 2019). SVT’s programming is noncommercial and advertising is not allowed. However, the sponsorship of sports events is permitted.

Since 2014, SVT has achieved just under its target of 90% reach (in 2019, its reach was 81%). In 2019, the average person used SVT for 53 minutes a day. SVT produces just over 22,000 hours of TV programs, with over 3,200 hours of local news.  

SVT ranks consistently well, with very large or fairly large value for society (68% in 2019); very large or fairly large value for individuals (59% in 2019); a very high or fairly high confidence in SVT (77% in 2019); and knowledge about SVT’s existing services (93% in 2019). 

With the pandemic, “the proportion of people who regard SVT as having a “fairly or very high value for society” has risen by 10% to 79%.” In a survey, which took place between April and July 2020, 81expressed very high or fairly high confidence in SVT’s content. This is the highest rating a media company has received for its content in a SOM survey. Confidence increases in all groups, regardless of age, party sympathies or whether you live in the city or in the countrysideSVT said. 

As part of its plans to invest more heavily in local journalism, SVT said that it will open four new newsrooms in 2021 in FagerstaFlemingsbergLund, and Sveg. Within three years, the public broadcaster intends to expand with ten new newsrooms so that SVT’s reporters are available in 50 locations around the country. 

Along with other Nordic public media, SVT is collaborating to produce a stronger and better range of children’s content, with 14 new series a year.  

SVT’s role: 

SVT’s channels and services: 

SVT’s facts and figures on special assignments and target groups: 

SVT’s mission: 

Info on Corporate Governance: 

SVT’s apps information: 

Page and video on figures: 

How SVT uses its income: 

Figures on how SVT performs in specific areas (trust, quality, knowledge of its services, etc.): 

SOM’s special survey: 

Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG SSR)

Radio | Television | Online


share of the
licence fee


languages via
regional broadcast
channels &


weekly reach
via television

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

The 2006 Swiss Radio and Television Act (RTVG) and other relevant regulation ensure independence from the state, and SRG SSR’s Charter provides guidance for the public broadcasters’ tasks and editorial and journalistic standards. While the government specifies activities, funding and organisation, according to SRG SSR, it is the Swiss Federal Constitution that guarantees the public broadcaster’s independence and “prevents anybody from interfering in our editorial work.”

SRG SSR is funded by a combination of a licence fee (primary source – about 78% of funding) and revenue from commercial offerings such as sponsorships and advertisements (secondary source – 22% of funding). SRG SSR says it is the largest media house in Switzerland with a turnover of CHF 1.5 billion (SRG SSR, Facts and Figures 19/20). When it comes to distribution of revenue, Gilles Marchand, CEO of SRG SSR, said: “It should be pointed out that we have a very unusual equalisation system here in Switzerland: the German-speaking areas generate 73% of SRG revenues (advertising and licence fees) and retain 45%. The Italian-speaking region generates 4% and receives 22%. Meanwhile, the French-speaking part generates 23% and receives 32%.”

“No billag”

SRG SSR faced a threat to its funding in 2018 with the “No Billag” referendum. The Swiss public was asked to vote whether to remove the Swiss licence fee (Billag) for radio and TV, of which the public broadcaster benefits from 95% while 34 private radio stations and TV channels benefit 5%. With the referendum, 71.6% of voters rejected the removal of the fee. While this was ultimately a win for SRG SSR, there were consequences of the referendum whereby in 2018, the broadcaster had to undertake a cost-cutting reorganisation to save at least 100 million Swiss francs. PMA reported, “In April 2019, a series of cost cutting measures were announced including the integration of particular units as well as the potential loss of 40 jobs, including 20 through layoffs and early retirement.” The 2019 financial year saw the licence fee income fall by CHF50 million. Meanwhile, In April 2020, parliament agreed to increase the broadcaster’s funding by CHF50 million to CHF1.25 billion per year. However, CEO Marchand does not foresee this funding injection as sufficient to cover future lost revenues. From 1 January 2019, a new device-independent radio and TV fee was applied to households and companies. “For households, the radio and tv contribution will amount to 365 francs a year. For companies with an annual turnover of over 500,000 francs, the yearly contribution will vary between 365 and 35,590 francs a year, depending on their turnover,” SRG SSR said.

> Radio broadcast output: Three stations each for the German, French and Italian language regions (Radio SRF 1, Radio SRF 2, Radio SRF 3, La Première, Espace 2, Couleurs 3, Rete Uno, Rete Due, Rete Tre); one Rhaeto-Romansh station (Radio Rumantsch); one younger listener station for German-speaking Switzerland (SRF Radio Virus); one German-speaking information station (SRF 4 News); one station each for the German and French language regions, which gives a broad platform for folk music culture Radio (“SRF Musikwelle” – German, “Option Musique” – French); one music station each for classical, jazz and pop for all language regions, with Swiss artists accounting for a share of at least 50 percent (Radio Swiss Classic, Radio Swiss Jazz).

> Television broadcast output: Two channels each for the German, French and Italian language regions in HD quality (SRF 1, SRF 2, RTS 1, RTS 2, RSI LA 1, RSI LA 2); Programmes in Rhaeto-Romansh on SRF 1, SRF Info, RTS 1, RSI LA 1, RSI LA 2; One German-language repeat programme (SRF Info); online television in all language regions, with continuously updated information and programme information without advertising and without sponsorship (SRF Play, RTS Play, RSI Play, RTR Play, SWI Play)

> Other services: Teletext, a publishing service for outside Switzerland (; French-language programmes on TV5Monde, German-language programmes on 3Sat, and Italian-language programmes on; online services (such as,,,,,, apps, and social media), and hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV).

Reach: SRG’s television channels reach 60% of the Swiss population every week, and its radio stations reach 61%. 33% of Swiss citizens access SRG’s online services every week.

Trust: RTS News is the most trusted Swiss French media outlet (76%) and SRF News is the most trusted Swiss German media outlet (also 76%) according to the Reuters’ Institute Digital News Report 2020.

Languages: Italian (RTI), Romansch (RTR), French (RTS), and German (SRF). Also, English, Russian, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Japanese via SWI (

SRG SRR has around 6,000 employees (subsidiaries not included).

As with many European public broadcasters that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, SRG SSR said in September 2020 that further job cuts were unavoidable due to continually declining revenues from the licence fee and advertising. The public broadcaster has also fleshed out future strategy details to meet evolving media consumption demands. In November 2020, the public broadcaster also launched a new streaming platform called Play Suisse featuring content produced by RSI, RTR, RTS and SRF.

Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

Radio | Television | Online


of audience
trust ZDF's
pandemic coverage


Funding from

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Ownership: Public 

ZDF is managed as an independent non-profit corporation under the authority of Germany’s sixteen states. Its 60-member governing body, the ZDF Television Council, represents the general public’s interests while its 14-member Administrative Council is responsible for budget control and corporate guidelines. 

€17.50 household fee funds 90% of ZDF’s program work ZDF’s monthly share of the household fee is 4.36. To supplement its income, ZDF relies on advertising and sponsorship 

2019 funding breakdown: 

€1,918 million income from broadcasting fees 

€173 million income from television advertising 

€139 million other income, including sponsorship  


ZDF audience share for Free TV in Germany: 13% (2019) 

In January 2021, ZDF achieved a market share of 15.1% – this is the highest value in January since 1995. 

86% of German public media TV news users rate the corona crisis coverage of ARD and ZDF as trustworthy – the highest attributed credibility of all media on offer.

3,600 permanent employees and a similar number of freelancers in Mainz and Berlin offices and across 16 domestic and 19 foreign studios. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, ZDF has provided special broadcasts for COVID-19 updates and educational and home-schooling content amid school closures. ZDF has also announced measures that the organisation would be taking to help fund producers contributing to its content by paying for half of the additional costs in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Most recently, a planned increase in the household fee was rejected despite the financial pressures facing public broadcasters. This has caused many of the public broadcasters to implement cost-cutting measures to make up for a shortfall in projected funding.

Read our latest report: How are German public broadcasters responding to the rejection of the licence fee increase?

Latin America

Radio y Televisión Argentina (RTA)

Radio | Television | Online


of Argentines
visit RTA websites
for news per week


RSF world press
freedom ranking
for Argentina (2021)

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Radio y Televisión Argentina (RTA) is state-owned.

RTA is administrated by the Secretariate of Media and Public Communications. Juan Francisco Meritello has been Secretary of Media and Public Communication since his appointment in 2019.

The 2009 law which established the RTA states that its executive board should consist of seven appointed members. The executive branch of national government appoints the president and one director. Another three directors are proposed by the Bicameral Commission for the Promotion and Monitoring of Audiovisual Communication and selected by the largest three parliamentary minorities. The Federal Council of Audiovisual Communication proposes the final two directors, one of whom must be an academic with relevant expertise. Board members serve four-year terms, which can be renewed once.

According to the decree, the board organises, directs, and administers RTA. This includes appointing and dismissing personnel and preparing action plans and annual budgets that are presented to the executive of the national government. RTA is overseen by the Supervisory Committee which is appointed by an annual assembly.

Rosario Lufrano has been Executive Director of RTA since January 2020. She had been the head of Televisión Pública from 2006 until 2008. The current Executive Director of Televisión Pública, since April 2021, is Claudio Martínez. Alejandro Pont Lezica has been the director of Radio Nacional since 2019.

A 2015 decree established the National Communications Entity (ENACOM), which acts as RTA’s broadcasting regulator. The head of the regulator is Claudio Ambrosini. ENACOM’s guidelines include ensuring digital inclusion and promoting transparency within media management. However, it has been suggested that the government exerts political influence on ENACOM, as four of the regulator’s seven board members are appointed by the executive branch of the national government.

RTA is primarily funded from the national budget. The National Congress approves the funds to be allocated to RTA, after this has been determined by the executive branch of government. RTA received 48.7 million pesos (approximately £360,000) from the state budget in the first quarter of 2021.

According to the Audio-visual Communications Law, the remainder of RTA’s funding is derived from a tax on holders of audio-visual communication services, the commercialisation of audio-visual content production, sponsorship, advertising, legacies, donations, and events.

RTA’s broadcast area covers the whole of Argentina. However, nationally, only 10% of Argentines use the public broadcasters’ online news weekly and just 35% trust TV Publica as a source of news. Although overall trust in news media in Argentina is only one percent higher, Reuters Institute’s latest Digital News Report concludes that RTA’s public broadcasting “plays a minor role and does not serve as a trusted source”. Meanwhile, those who dominate include four private conglomerates who, according to the Media Ownership Monitor, “combine 46.25% of the national audience”.

Internationally, Radio Nacional’s radio station, RAE Argentina Al Mundo, broadcasts online and via shortwave in 8 languages. RTA has also signed a number of cooperative agreements with broadcasters in other countries.

Some concerns exist regarding the politicisation and transparency of RTA, since a financial scandal and allegations of political bias led to a series of resignations within RTA and at the head of Televisión Pública in 2021. In May, the president of RTA also strongly criticised the opposition party and the government has been accused of blocking the approval of recent appointments to RTA for political reasons.

RTA is making efforts to be more diverse and accessible. Recently, RTA created a Directorate of Gender and Diversity and in July 2021, RTA’s president, Rosario Lufrano, expressed RTA’s commitment to the inclusion of indigenous languages to make sure indigenous voices are heard. Gender equity and trans-representation quotas will also be introduced to public broadcasting, having been approved by parliament in June 2021.

Read more: Argentina: new law set to enhance public media gender equity

Crean la Dirección de Género y Diversidad de Radio y Televisión Argentina

Click to access 1ertrim21.pdf

National network

2 national TV channels
24 radio stations

Online/Digital Services

Online news
TV and radio livestreams

Medios Públicos Uruguay

Television | Radio | Online


Uruguay's position
in RSF's 2021 World
Press Freedom Index

Medios Públicos Uruguay consists of the television channels, Canal 5 and Canal 8, and four radio stations – Radio Uruguay, Radio Cultura, Radio Babel and Radio Clásica. They share the Medios Públicos portal, which provides news articles and podcasts as well as radio livestreaming and links to livestreams of the two television channels.

Canal 5, previously called TNU (Televisión Nacional de Uruguay), is the main public media channel. Canal 5 Noticias is a news programme broadcast three times every weekday on Canal 5. Canal 8, the other public media channel, does not currently produce its own programming, but the head of the managing body of public media has expressed the intention “to turn it into a regional channel with some of its own programming”. While Radio Clásica and Radio Babel broadcast music, Radio Uruguay is primarily concerned with spoken, information-based, journalistic programming. Radio Cultura, previously known as Emisora ​​del Sur, is dedicated to national music and cultural journalism.

Uruguay is ranked 18th in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.

North America


Radio | Television | Online


use at least
one service
per month


of Canadians
agree on
role and need
for CBC/R-C

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

The CBC is a Crown corporation – the Government of Canada.

The Broadcasting Act addresses the independence of the public broadcaster. Freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence are key to the public broadcaster in the pursuit of its objects and in the exercise of its powers... In a similar vein, while the Corporation is subject to the Access to Information Act and to the Privacy Act, these statutes also provide that it does not apply to any information that relates to its journalistic, creative or programming activities, other than information that relates to its general administration. As a result, a greater arm’s length relationship is maintained between the Government and CBC/Radio-Canada than with most Crown Corporations. The Broadcasting Act also provides that officers and employees employed by the Corporation are not officers or servants of Her Majesty” 


CBC/Radio-Canada has four sources of direct funding.

A breakdown of CBC/Radio-Canada’s 2019-2020 income:

  • Government funding: $1,209 million
  • Advertising revenue: $253.8 million
  • Subscriber fees: $123.5 million
  • Financing and other income: (includes income from activities such as rental of real estate assets, content sales, leasing of space at transmission sites, host broadcasting sports events and contributions from the Canada Media Fund.) $127.2 million

Total Revenue (total income less funding): $504 million

Radio Canada Revenue: $217 million,

CBC Revenue: $211 million


  • 83% of Canadians use at least one CBC/Radio-Canada service in a typical month (CBC/R-C)
  • Digital reach of CBC/Radio-Canada: 21.7 million, up 7.4% (CBC/R-C)

CBC News TV and Radio 

  • CBC News Canada English weekly reach of 29% and 19% more than 3 days per week 
  • CBC News Canada French weekly reach of 50% and 36% more than 3 days per week 

CBC News Online 

  • CBC News Canada English weekly users 25% and 18% reach more than 3 days per week 
  • CBC News Canada French weekly users 29% and 20% reach more than 3 days per week 


CBC/Radio-Canada is “proud to be Canadians’ most-trusted source of news and information, and has made verification and fact-checking a pillar of its coverage”. 

CBC News (Canada English) scored 71% for Brand Trust 

Radio-Canada (Canada French) scored 80% for Brand Trust


As of March 2020, CBC/R-C employed a total of 7,673 full-time equivalent employees, up 2.9%. (2018-2019: 7,459) 

48.7% women
2.1% Indigenous people
3.2% persons with disabilities
14.1% visible minorities  


National Public Radio (NPR)

Radio | Online


ranked highest
among major US
news brands for
credibility and honesty


unique visitors

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Owned by its member stations 

A 23-member Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of NPR through setting NPR’s policies, managing NPR’s performance and overseeing NPR’s budget and overall finances. The Board is comprised of the NPR President, the chairman of the NPR Foundation, 12 station managers of NPR’s members and nine members of the public, which are selected by station managers and the Board. 

NPR is mainly funded through fees and dues paid by Member stations and underwriting from corporate sponsors. Additional sources of revenue include individual contributions, grants and fees paid by users of the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS).

Breakdown of NPR’s 2018-19 funding:

Station dues, programming and digital fees: $89,020,136 (2018: $85,474,802 up 4%)

Corporate sponsorships: $111,271,829 (2018: $97,071,058 up 14.5%)

Public Radio Satellite System contract: $8,033,762 (2018: $5,798,637 up 38.5%)

Satellite interconnection and distribution: $8,609,794 (2018: $9,576,404 down 10%)

Commissions: $4,596,082 (2018: $6,009,382 down 23.5%)

Other: $9,304,092 (2018: $8,177,792 up 14%)

  • Revenue from gains and other support: $52,704,227 (2018: $46,718,374 up 13%)

Total revenue: $283,539,922 (2018: $258,826,449 up 9.5%)


Source: NPR Consolidated Financial Statements 2019

  • 60 million weekly audience across platforms.
  • 23 million weekly on-air listeners. 98.5% of the U.S. population lives within the listening area of a station carrying NPR programming.

Online and digital services

  • 18.3 million weekly website visitors
  • 2.6 million monthly app users
  • Weekly Visits to NPR Digital Properties 46.7 million (Google Analytics June 2020)
  • Weekly Unique Users of NPR Podcasts 14.4 million (Splunk, NPR Podcast Logs, June 2020)

A record number of people are have turned to NPR for news and other content during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 57 million people now consume the network’s offering each week, whether on radio or its various digital platforms. That’s a rise of nearly 10% from 2019, despite the severe drop in the broadcast audiences.

Podcast downloads and the usage of NPR’s listening apps are up nearly a quarter, and there is a 76% increase in users of as more people access the network’s content from home.


Number of Employees: 1,029 (as of April 2020)

News Division Staff: 440 (as of April 2020)


Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Television | Radio | Online


agree that PBS
KIDS is the
most trusted & safe
source for children


most watched
television network
in primetime

In detail

Click on the headings below for more information

Owned by its member public television stations. 

The 27-member Board of Directors manages PBS’ affairs, while also governing and setting PBS’ policies. The Board is made up of 14 station managers, 12 general directors and the PBS President, and serve a term of up to three years. Along with committees, the Board meets four times a year, some of which is open to the public. 

PBS adheres to robust editorial guidelines that align with key principles of public media, including editorial independence, accuracy, accountability, and transparency.,member%20stations%2C%20distribution%20and%20underwriting  

A large proportion of PBS’ revenue is acquired from member assessments, grants and contributions and donated broadcast rights and distributions, and supplemented by investment returns and other additional streams.

Total income: $589,783,000 (2018: $674,166, down 12.52%)


Imputed Value of Donated Broadcast Rights: $148,914,000 (2018: $177,712,000, down 16.2%)

Member Assessments: $197,985,000 (2018: $197,552,000, up 0.22%)

Grants & Contributions: $55,477,000 (2018: $105,167,000, down 47.25%)

Distribution: $168,873,000 (2018: $174,789,000, down 3.38%)

Satellite Services: $113,000 (2018: $137,000, down 17.52%)

Investment Returns: net $9,985,000 (2018: $1,845,000, down 7.93%)

Other: $8,436,000 (2018: $7,964,000, up 5.93%)



Each month, PBS reaches over 126 million people through television and 26 million people online


PBS is watched by 86% of TV households (over 200 million people)

63.7 million PBS primetime viewers each month (Nielsen NPOWER Live+7, 2018-2019, Avg Monthly Schedule, All PBS Stations M-Su 8p-11p)

7th most-watched television network in primetime (Nielsen Npower Primetime)

Each month, over 109 million people watch their local PBS stations



Each month, Americans watch an average of 298 million videos across all of PBS’ web, mobile and connected device platforms.

Each month, more than 28 million viewers watch video on PBS’s site and apps

14 million unique monthly visitors (Google Analytics 2019)

PBS averages 309 million monthly video streams across all of PBS’s web, OTT, and mobile devices  (Source: Google Analytics Jan – Dec 2019)

PBS Digital Studios produces original content exclusively for digital platforms. PBS Digital Studios averages more than 48 million views per month on YouTub

PBS KIDS mobile apps have been downloaded 71.4 million times  (Source: AppFigures Mar 2011-Sep 2019)

PBS KIDS averages 11.1 million monthly users and 286 million monthly streams across digital platforms.

(Source: Google Analytics Oct ’18 – Sep ’19



1,266 (As of January 2020)

PBS Representation:

As of 7/31/2020, PBS staff is comprised of:

  • Women: 55%
  • BIPOC*: 40%

In Fiscal Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020), our New Hires were comprised of:

  • Women: 58%
  • BIPOC: 48%
*Black, Indigenous, People of Color

As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, PBS launched a national and digital-first storytelling project, An American Portrait, which depicts the stories of American citizens to reflect the reality of American society, through triumph and tragedy.

PBS recorded an increase in viewing figures in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It recorded a 19% growth on broadcast households compared to the 6 weeks prior to the shut-down (Nielsen Npower Primetime ALL PBS Stations 3/16-4/5/20 vs. 3/18-4/7/19 Households) and a 39% increase in weekly streaming (Google Analytics PBS owned platforms 3/16-4/5/20 vs. 3/18-4/7/19).

In the first eight weeks of the COVID-related shutdown, PBS TV stations reached over 72 million adults in primetime, and more than 24 million monthly users engaged with PBS general audience content via owned digital platforms.

Header Image: Close-up image of microphone in podcast studio. Source: nortonrsx/iStock