Since the start of telephony and later in broadcasting, the pursuit of universal service has legitimated the ownership and operation of media as a public trust. Until the 1980s, this principle was the bedrock for the broadcasting mission and is still a mandated requirement for public media companies today. But in practice, the universalism ideal was largely abandoned in the 1980s
The seventh RIPE Reader investigates cross-boundary influences affecting public service media. PSM institutions remain domestically grounded and orientated, but must cope with international influences and the impact of globalisation. This presents significant environmental challenges keyed to policies that support networked communications which have important implications for the future of broadcasting.
The theme for RIPE@2017 Reader ssesses characteristics, dynamics and implications of the networked society in relation to public service media [PSM]. The rapidly changing media ecology challenges PSM’s historic societal position of centrality and greatly complicates core mandates. The networked society is enabled by communication technologies that greatly enhance growth in content choices and participatory affordances, but also encourage social fragmentation and advancing globalisation.