Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Swedish taskforce affirms value of public media to democracy

An expert committee in Sweden has found that public service media (PSM) have “great intrinsic value'  to democratic society.

Tasked by the Swedish government to  analyze the conditions for public service radio and TV, the committee also concluded that only a 'clear division between broadcasters and state' can safeguard independence and integrity.  

Entitled 'New conditions for Public Service', the report also recommends that PSM be subjected to 'as little detailed regulation as possible' and that broadcasters 'assume a high degree of responsibility for themselves.' Cilla Benkö, director general-designate of Swedish Radio (SR), says the report reinforces the important role of SR in digitisation.

"Among other things, it recommends that the government increase allocation of funds for the next license period to provide for the development of digital radio,” she says. “This is confirmation that independent PSM must be on all platforms to meet public expectations, whatever form they take."

Ms Benkö is currently deputy director general of SR and a member of the EBU’s Executive Board.

The report also observes that increasing use of the internet has had a major impact on radio and TV markets and that former potential sources of income, such as subscriptions and advertising, may diminish if more and more TV content moves to the internet in the form of on-demand services.

Circulation of the report's summary comes as SR begins work on a new charter for 2014-19, and the EBU launches 'Vision 2020,'  a multi-annual strategic plan that ensures the primacy of PSM amid a converging media environment.

The Committee, chaired by Judge Martin Holmgren, also included media professor, Lars Nord, lawyer and former legal advisor to commercial television station TV4, Helena Miksche, former deputy general of Swedish Post and Telecom Authority, Katarina Kämpe and the former deputy director of Swedish Television (SVT) Leif Jakobsson.

Click here to read a full summary of the report.

(Source : European Broadcasting Union)

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