Governance of Public Service Media: Traditions and Transitions


Media organizations – and with it the whole journalistic profession – are currently experiencing profound structural changes, as they are put under pressure by digitization and the erosion of established business models. These transitions also have consequences for public service media (PSM): On the one hand, PSM are necessarily obligated to their traditional public remit; on the other hand, they need to find a way to adapt to the realities of the present media world. How can PSM actors fulfill their social function in the digital communication environments of today? In what way could PSM realize their role in democratic societies in the online environment, which is de facto defined, negotiated and provided by private interest ruled actors (platforms)? What are the consequences of the shrinking public space for PSM in Europe? What are the concerns of the current transitions for media governance and policy-makers? How could public interest objectives for diversity and pluralism, the cornerstones of media governance, be achieved under these conditions? Which funding models can help public media organizations to maintain quality? And how can the performance of PSM be measured after all? Our research offers answers to such questions from a comparative perspective – for example by compiling various key figures that display and quantify economic, program-related and audience-related dimensions of PSM, by evaluating different modes of project-based journalism funding, by studying the necessity and possibilities of a regulatory framework for the legal and policy safeguards of PSM in the digital ecology, by conducting policy scenario analyses on spectrum allocation plans to PSM, by monitoring trends on PSM independence, and by analyzing PSM activities in the online world.


Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), International Federation of Television Archives, Heinrich Graf Hardegg’sche Stiftung


Key figures of public service broadcasting

Digital archiving in public service media: Ethical issues and legal restrictions

Die grundrechtliche und wettbewerbsrechtliche Zulässigkeit projektbasierter Medienförderung

In the media

Stephan Russ-Mohl (2019). Krasse Unterschiede. Öffentlich finanzierte Medienunternehmen verdanken ihre Existenzberechtigung nicht den Quoten. Zu messen wäre, welche Leistungen sie für welche Zielgruppen erstellen. Der Tagesspiegel, 7.4.2019,