Hans Bredow Institut Hans Bredow Institut für Medienforschung

The raise of a multiplatform communication scenario implies profound changes in the structure, the business models and the reception patterns of the media system. In the case of Public Service Broadcasting/Media (PSB), the new context sets important challenges and questions concerning its legitimacy, its organization and its performance.

In this sense, divergent opinions collide. On the one hand, free market and competition are considered sufficient to guarantee not only the protection of those values that once justified PSB but also the fulfilment of its functions. On the other hand, the possibilities resulting from technical innovation and the convergence of distribution platforms are regarded as opportunities to improve the performance of public operators and thus offering a better service to the citizens.

Taking into account that conflictive situation, this research project investigates to what extent the configuration of a digital and multiplatform media scenario requires an adaptation of Public Service Broadcasting/Media and how it can be carried out. The main goal is to identify and to analyse what strategies are implemented in order to redefine the PSB remit and to reposition its operators and its services.

In the first part of the research, the current transformations affecting the media are studied. New tendencies and operational logics are identified and systematized. Special attention is also paid to technological innovation. As a result, a theoretical model concerning the challenges, opportunities and risks for public service in the multiplatform scenario has been designed.

In the second part of the project, the research is focused on the adaptation strategies to the multiplatform scenario currently carried out by public service operators. In order to achieve an international perspective of the issue within the European Union, the national cases of Germany, Poland and Spain are analysed and compared.

Regarding the expected results, first of all, this project has a strong theoretical ambition. It wants to contribute to the development of the Public Service Media studies by means of providing new ideas concerning the conceptualization of the public service remit and its operationalization in the current media conjuncture. Secondly, it also aims to produce valuable pragmatic knowledge by means of detecting and systematizing good practices among the adaptation strategies implemented in the countries compared. In the end, conclusions and recommendations for decision-makers and public service managers are drawn.
Research project funded by the European Union under a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development (FP7-PEOPLE-IEF-2008)