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Online Media Within the Public Service Realm? Reasons to Include Online into the Public Service Mission


Trappel, J (2008). Online Media Within the Public Service Realm? Reasons to Include Online into the Public Service Mission. Convergence, 14(3):313-322.

Abstract

Public service media are no longer limited to radio and television as new media genres emerge. Among others, online media supplement radio, television and the press since the mid 1990s and became a medium in its own right. Moreover, online media become an essential element of media consumption patterns. Public service media compete not only with private radio and television broadcasters but also with the press. The question arises, whether such competition in the online field results in more diversity and higher output quality, serving the public interest better. In Europe, there are at least two different schools of thought. One line of argument accepts the public service expansion into online and regards online media as necessary and important field for public service activities. Another line of argument suggests limiting the public service remit strictly to radio and broadcasting and considers online media as emerging market subject to competition among private companies only. Based on the results of a comparative empirical analysis of online media provided by public service broadcasters and print publishers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria (from 2006) the article shows that the achieved results in media output are disappointing. Only few online media live up to the expectations. The article finally argues that the extension of the public service remit to online media might enhance quality and diversity.

Public service media are no longer limited to radio and television as new media genres emerge. Among others, online media supplement radio, television and the press since the mid 1990s and became a medium in its own right. Moreover, online media become an essential element of media consumption patterns. Public service media compete not only with private radio and television broadcasters but also with the press. The question arises, whether such competition in the online field results in more diversity and higher output quality, serving the public interest better. In Europe, there are at least two different schools of thought. One line of argument accepts the public service expansion into online and regards online media as necessary and important field for public service activities. Another line of argument suggests limiting the public service remit strictly to radio and broadcasting and considers online media as emerging market subject to competition among private companies only. Based on the results of a comparative empirical analysis of online media provided by public service broadcasters and print publishers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria (from 2006) the article shows that the achieved results in media output are disappointing. Only few online media live up to the expectations. The article finally argues that the extension of the public service remit to online media might enhance quality and diversity.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:digital media diversity online media online performance public service media quality
Language:English
Date:August 2008
Deposited On:06 Jan 2009 16:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:36
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1354-8565
Publisher DOI:10.1177/1354856508091083
Official URL:http://convergence.beds.ac.uk/issues/volumefourteen/numberthree
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6191

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