Public Service Broadcasters

5. February 2015

Martin Hoffmann`s Ph.D thesis is designed as an international comparative study and investigates the contradiction of independence and control of public-service broadcasters in Europe. Public service broadcasters (PSB) are among the most influential media institutions in Europe, financed through billions of euros of public funds. PSB-executives and a political majority widely regard them as indispensable part of the media landscape, even though the ongoing discussions about their necessity put PSB increasingly under pressure in several European countries. Their most valuable good has been frequently underlined: their editorial independence. However, this independence is constantly threatened, due to one construction default most European public service broadcasters share: They are controlled by politicians or politically influenced bodies. As a result several control bodies of European PSB have been abused for biased purposes to influence PSB-coverage in different scenarios. By researching the control bodies of PSB, functional and defective structures shall be recognized, described and analyzed. Furthermore, relevant conditions that assure PSB-independence from the control bodies shall be identified and evaluated.

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