RIPE@2019 READER: Universalism in Public Service Media

Philip Savage, Mercedes Medina & Gregory Ferrell Lowe

RIPE Readers are published by Nordicom and open access. Download the RIPE@2019 Reader: Universalism in Public Service Media here.

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

as media deregulation promised more competition, innovation, and vigorous economic growth. Some of this came true, but at a worrisome cost. Growing distrust in media today is partly rooted in the illusion that more media in more platforms would inevitably ensure better media in all platforms. There is now more of everything on offer except social responsibility.

This collection interrogates the historic universalism mission in public service broadcasting and explores its contemporary relevance for public service media. Taking a critical perspective on media policy and performance, the volume contributes to a much-needed contemporary reassessment that clarifies the importance of universalism for equity in access and provision, trustworthy content, and inclusive participation in the context of advancing digitalisation and globalisation. The collection situates universalism as an aspirational quest and inspirational pursuit. Researchers and policy makers will find the collection valuable for conceptualisation and strategic managers will find it helpful as a principled basis in the pursuit of improved reach and value.

RIPE@2017 Reader: Public Service Media In The Networked Society

Gregory Ferrell Lowe, Hilde Van den Bulck & Karen Donders

RIPE Readers are published by Nordicom and open access. Download the RIPE@2017 Reader: Public Service Media In The Networked Society here.

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.

Today’s media ecology is highly disruptive for traditional markets, mass media structures and modes of communication, and complicates policy, regulation and operations. The concept and practices associated with networked communications media in a networked society context are often celebrated, and merit critical scrutiny.

The book tackles questions of fundamental importance. What is the ‘networked society’ in and for media practice, and with what essential implications for public media organisations and ‘audiences’? Does the new ecology enhance or diminish PSM in contemporary societies – how much of each in which dimensions? Is what’s happening the same everywhere, or varying? How can PSM strengthen the democratic potential of networked communications and counter disruptive forces that are eroding public trust in media? How do commercial and non-commercial media organisations interact in a networked society? Which aspects of legacy public service traditions can be preserved, what is obsolete, and what is needed that is new?

RIPE@2015 Reader: Crossing Borders and Boundaries in Public Service Media

Gregory Ferrell Lowe & Nobuto Yamamoto

RIPE Readers are published by Nordicom and open access. Download the RIPE@2015 Reader: Crossing Borders and Boundaries in Public Service Media here.

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.

Meanwhile, internal institutional boundaries pose challenges to internal collaboration and synergy, and to achieving greater openness and cultivating public participation in PSM. Traditional boundaries between professional and non-professional production are often problematic, as well, for external collaboration. And there are enormous challenges in efforts to bridge boundaries between PSM and other public institutions (public sector), social movements (civil and volunteer sector) and companies (private sector).

Cross-boundary phenomena offer tremendous opportunities for ensuring public service provision in the emerging media ecology, but managers and policy-makers must grapple with a range of dualities that require critical examination: public / private, national / international, broadcast / print, linear / non-linear, audience / user, production / distribution, citizen / consumer, and market / society. The scholarly contributions in this volume address issues that are relevant for improved understandings about Public Service Media Across Borders and Boundaries – a contemporary topic of keen theoretical and strategic importance.