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Making A Difference

Making A Difference

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Making A Difference

Public Service Broadcasting in the European Media Landscape

Edited by: Christian S. Nissen

An important new title, also in French, to the debate on Public Service Broadcasting, in collaboration with the EBU.

Publication date: 2006
Total pages: 228
ISBN: 0 86196 686 4
Price: £ 17.50


As logical as the existence and role of Public Service Broadcasters seemed to be in the era of broadcasting monopolies, it is equally natural today to question public involvement in the media. Is there still a need for public broadcasters? What are their cultural obligations, political role and remit in the dual European media market? Which changes will new media, the Internet and digital technology bring, and what impact will they have on the media market? What is the role of governments and parliaments in relation to the public broadcasters, and what are the implications of EU regulation of the media market? Do the public media really make a difference, or are they dinosaurs threatened with extinction in the new and unfamiliar media landscape of modern Europe?

These are the questions addressed in this book, which has been commissioned by the European Broadcasting Union as one of its contributions to the debate on the future of broadcasting.


Preface by Václav Havel

The contributors are:Carmen Caffarel, Claudio Cappon, Margie Comrie, Susan Fountaine, Mario Garcia de Castro, Karol Jakubowicz, Thomas Kleist, André Lange, Peter Looms, Christian S. Nissen, Robert G. Picard, Alexander Scheuer, Slavko Splichal, Damian Tambini, David Ward and Dominique Wolton.

Chapter One The European audiovisual industry at the verge of convergence, by André Lange

Chapter Two Public media in service of civil society and democracy, by Slavko Splichal

Chapter Three If not us, then who? Public service broadcasting and culture in the 21st century, by Karol Jakubowicz

Chapter Four Can the market provide? Public service media, market failure and public goods, by David Ward

Chapter Five No public service without both Public and Service – Content provision between the Scylla of populism and the Charybdis of elitism, by Christian S. Nissen

Chapter Six Empowering the people: public media provides new means in education, by Claudio Cappon

Chapter Seven Public service media: all things to all people – on all platforms, anytime?, by Peter Looms

Chapter Eight On-demand in demand: Public service broadcasters, new services and copyright, by Damian Tambini

Chapter Nine Editorial autonomy and public control – the debate over reform, by Carmen Caffarel and Mario Garcia de Castro

Chapter Ten Back to the future in New Zealand: Can a “third way” compromise reinvigorate public service broadcasting?, by Margie Comrie and Susan Fountaine

Chapter Eleven Public service broadcasting and the European Union. From “Amsterdam” to Altmark”: The discussion on EU state aid regulation, by Thomas Kleist and Alexander Scheuer

Chapter Twelve Financing public media: The future of collective funding, by Robert G. Picard

Chapter Thirteen Public service – beyond the obsession with technology and the markets, by Dominique Wolton


Christian S. Nissen began his career as associate professor in international politics, University of Copenhagen and has worked in different management positions in the Danish public administration and institutions. In the period 1994–2004 he was Director General of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and chairman of the EBU, Digital Strategy Group. Since 2004 he has been independent advisor and lecturer in media and management and is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is author/editor of articles and books on international politics, public administration and media.

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