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Public Sphere and Public Service Media



This Symposium addresses one of the most challenging debates in contemporary media studies: the transition of the traditional Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) into Public Service Media (PSM) - that is, widening their remit to be available in more delivery platforms for producing and distributing public service content.

Cross-platform strategies help PSM retain audience share, reach new audiences and develop on-demand services, while enabling them to create a stronger partnership with civil society and serve the public sphere and an extended form of citizenship. However, public institutions' expansion strategies into online, on-demand services and new platforms have been met with criticism from commercial operators and pro-market thinkers on grounds of unfair competition.

The speakers in this Symposium discuss the contemporary relevance of PSM as a cultural and political enterprise and as a forum in which a variety of cultural demands are best met. The main question to be addressed is: should policy-makers allow PSM to take account of the different media platforms (online, on-demand, mobile) and the changing relationship with the audience (as content generators and a community of users)? Or does the digital multi-channel market provide for civic and cultural engagement and therefore an enhanced public sphere?


Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications, University of Westminster

Anthony Smith, CBE, writer of broadcasting, former President of Magdalen College

Jane Rogerson, Director of Commissioning, UKTV

Carole Tongue, UK Coalition for Cultural Diversity, former MEP

Michael Starks, Associate of Oxford University’s Programme in Comparative Media and Law

Chair: Howard Tumber, Director of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism (CLJJ), City University London

The Symposium will be accompanied by the launch of the book: Reinventing Public Service Communication: European Broadcasters and Beyond, edited by Petros IOSIFIDIS, London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN: 978-0-230-22967-9, ISBN10: 0-230-22967-0".

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When & where

9.00am - 5.00pmThursday 29th April 2010