University of Westminster flag

Workshop organised by
CAMRI, University of Westminster, with support from UNESCO and BBC Media Action.

Confirmed Speakers include

Greg Dyke, former BBC Director General (keynote speaker)

Steven Barnett, University of Westminster, CAMRI
Ingrid Deltenre, Director General, European Broadcasting Union
David Gauntlett, University of Westminster, Co-Director, CAMRI
Akinori Hashimoto, Head of News Production Division, NHK
Deane James, Director of Policy and Learning, BBC Media Action
Kip Meek, Special Adviser, Everything, Everywhere and ex Ofcom
Elizabeth Smith, former Secretary General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
Jean Seaton, University of Westminster (BBC Media Historian)
Jeanette Steemers, University of Westminster, Co-Director, CAMRI
Daya Thussu,
University of Westminster, Co-Director India Media Centre
Sally-Ann Wilson, Secretary General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA)

Changing Public Service Broadcasting:
The crucial role played by public service broadcasting (PSB) in different contexts was highlighted by former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, when he described BBC as “Britain’s greatest gift to the world”. It was testimony to how the BBC - as the world’s leading public service broadcaster - has promoted a model that has influenced the industry across the world, including in less developed countries.
To a large extent the PSB model has evolved and been successfully adapted in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Europe, North America and Latin America. However, in the current context of rapid technical, political,economic and social changes, PSB is now facing new challenges.

This symposium will debate whether we are looking at a major decline in Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) for the future, if not its disappearance. There are several indications that this may be so. Funding has become an issue in many countries. As the younger generation switches to viewing programmes on platforms other than the household TV set, there is diminished willingness to pay the license fee.  The growing dominance of online and mobile devices has also led to a switch of ads to online platforms, damaging the financial base for public service broadcasting.

At the same time, as more and more channels proliferate, the audience for PSB is eroding in many countries.  Public Service radio is still strong in many countries in Africa as well as in the UK, Canada and Australia, but in many countries, it has simply become a stream of competitive music channels, with little informational content. Elsewhere, people are increasingly making and sharing their own media content. And even in those developing countries where state broadcasters still have PSB aspirations, the reality is all too often some form of control, especially from state.

And yet, despite all of these changes in the media landscape, the need for trusted information about national and local developments is as crucial as ever, as is the need for programming to celebrate national cultures, explain scientific developments, and offer relevant, quality entertainment, for all ages and ethnic groups.   For all these reasons, new thinking on Public Service Broadcasting is urgently needed.  This is why the University of Westminster is convening a group of thinkers to look ahead and identify the place of PSB in the years ahead.

The themes explored in the one-day workshop are likely to include:

  • What, if any, is the continued purpose and benefit of Public Service Broadcasting? 
  • How is the digital influencing the options available to Public Service Broadcasting? 
  • Are current funding models sustainable, and, if not, what new models should be considered? 
  • Are there ways, possibly using the Internet, Mobile Phones or Apps and micropayments, to apply small charges to those accessing Public Service Broadcasting through other devices?
  • Can Public Service Broadcasting lead social media into constructive and socially useful activities? How can the inevitable political pressures on Public Service Broadcasting be countered, particularly in the developing world?

Programme and Registration

This one-day workshop will take place on Friday 1 March, 2013. The fee for registration will be £99, with a concessionary rate of £49 for students, which covers conference materials, lunch, refreshments and administration costs.

Please download the registration form and send to Helen Cohen [email protected]

Download registration form here