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Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets that receive some or all of their funding from the public. Public broadcasters may receive their funding from individuals through voluntary donations, a specific tax such as a television license fee, or as direct funding by the state.

The extent to which public broadcasters can be considered "non-commercial" varies from country to country. In the United States, most public radio and television stations are licensed as non-commercial broadcasters, yet many stations air underwriting spots (resembling advertisements on commercial broadcasting but with some content limitations) in exchange for corporate contributions. In some other countries, public broadcasters are permitted to air commercials.

Public broadcasting may be nationally and/or locally operated, depending on the country and the station. In some countries, public broadcasting is dominated by a single organization (such as the BBC in the UK and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia) and its radio and television services broadcast throughout the country. However, some countries have multiple public broadcasting organizations operating regionally (such as in Germany) or in different languages. In the United States, public broadcasting stations are always locally licensed, but range from stations that mostly broadcast programming from national networks (such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR)) to stations that broadcast only locally produced content.

Historically, in many countries (with the notable exception of the US), public broadcasting was once the only form or the dominant form of broadcasting. However, commercial broadcasting now also exists in most of these countries; the number of countries with only public broadcasting has declined substantially during the latter part of the 20th century. In some countries, commercial broadcasting and the emergence of a wider variety of broadcast media have created competition that makes it more difficult for public broadcasters to retain their audiences and survive.[citation needed]

Contents

Defining public broadcasting

There is no standard definition for public broadcasting, although a number of official bodies have attempted to identify key characteristics. Public-service broadcasters generally transmit programming that aims to improve society by informing viewers. In contrast, the aim of commercial outlets is to provide popular content that attracts a large audience, maximizing revenue from advertising and sponsorship. For this reason, the ideals of public broadcasting are often hard to reconcile with commercial goals.

The Broadcasting Research Unit lists the following as possible goals or characteristics of a public broadcaster.

  1. Geographic universality — The stations' broadcasts are available nationwide, with no exception. Generally, the "nationwide" criterion is satisfied by either having member stations across the country (as is the case with PBS) or, as is the case with most other public broadcasters around the world, the broadcaster's use of sufficient transmitters to broadcast nationwide.
  2. Catering for all interests and tastes — as exemplified by the BBC's range of minority channels (BBC Two and BBC Radio 3).
  3. Catering for minorities — much as above, but with racial and linguistic minorities. (for example S4C in Wales, BBC Asian Network, Radio-Canada, and Australia's multicultural Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)).
  4. Concern for national identity and community — this essentially means that the stations mostly part commission programmes from within the country, which may be more expensive than importing shows from abroad.
  5. Detachment from vested interests and government in which programming is impartial, and the broadcaster is not be subject to control by advertisers or government. Even when a broadcast medium is removed from corporate and government interests, critics argue that it may nonetheless have a bias towards the values of certain groups, such as the middle class, the politics of the incumbent government, or in the case of partially or wholly commercially funded networks, the advertisers.
  6. One broadcasting system to be directly funded by the corpus of users — For example, the licence fee in the case of the BBC, or member stations asking for donations in the case of PBS/NPR.
  7. Competition in good programming rather than numbers — quality is the prime concern with a true public service broadcaster. Of course, in practice, ratings wars are rarely concerned with quality, although that may depend on how "quality" is defined.
  8. Guidelines to liberate programme-makers and not restrict them — in the UK, guidelines, and not laws, govern what a programme-maker can and cannot do, although these guidelines can be backed up by hefty penalties.

Some of these definition points may not be acceptable everywhere. For example in the US, public broadcasting may see part of its mission to bring in foreign content, such as from the CBC/Radio-Canada and the BBC, since such content is not commonly aired by American commercial broadcasters.

An alternative model for implementing public-service media exists, known as Citizen Media. As it relates to broadcasting, this generally means a radio or television outlet which has some sort of public access, that is, most or much of the programming is created by members of the public which receives the programming. This can be in the form of community radio, campus radio, and public access television, although the latter is not a form of over-the-air broadcasting, as it is only available on cable television systems.

Advantages and disadvantages

Public broadcasters may receive all or a substantial part of their funding from government sources, either from the general tax revenues or from licence fees. Public broadcasters do not rely on advertising as a source of revenue to the same degree as commercial broadcasters; this allows public broadcasters to air programs that are less saleable to the mass market, such as public affairs shows, radio and television documentaries, and educational programs. That public broadcasters do not chase ratings in the same way as commercial broadcasters can lead to the criticism that they are unresponsive to what their viewers want, but also to the positive claim that they can explore issues in greater depth and with more complexity than is possible in commercial media, and that they can present cultural fare that has social value but would not be supported by markets. It may also be pointed out commercial broadcasters program not for audiences but for those audiences which will buy their products.

Additionally, public broadcasting facilitates the implementation of cultural policy (an industrial policy and investment policy for culture). Some examples include:

  • The Canadian government is committed to official bilingualism (English and French). As a result, the public broadcaster, the CBC employs translators and journalists who speak both official languages and it encourages production of cross-cultural material. Quebec separatists argue that this is also a policy of cultural imperialism and assimilation.
  • In the UK, the BBC supports multiculturalism and diversity, in part by using on-screen commentators and hosts of different ethnic origins.
  • In New Zealand, the public broadcasting system provides support to Maori (native New Zealander) broadcasting, as a way to improve the opportunities, maintain the cultural heritage and promote the language of these New Zealanders.

Critics of public broadcasting systems argue that this implementation of cultural policy imposes the values of the public broadcaster on the populace. However, it can also be argued that commercial broadcasting has a bias for certain values or cultural forms, such as pop culture, militarism, culture bias, and consumerism.[citation needed]

Public broadcasting, and also some pirate broadcasting, provides a counterweight to the commercial media. Advocates of deliberative democracy argue that public broadcasting helps to maintain modern democracies, since public broadcasters can engage in journalism for its own sake. In wealthier countries public broadcasters tend to not be beholden to political parties or the government of the day. This is especially true where the broadcaster is funded by licensing fees and so, theoretically, not dependent on the government for any of its funding.

Economics of public broadcasting

An economic rationale for public broadcasting is that it exists to provide coverage of interests for which there are missing markets. Public broadcasting can supply those topics which have social benefit that would otherwise not be broadcast due to believed unprofitability. Society is willing to pay for such programming, but markets fail to provide it. Typically, such underprovision exists when the benefits to viewers are relatively high in comparison to the benefits to advertisers from contacting viewers[1]. This frequently is the case in undeveloped countries that normally have low benefits to advertising, which helps explain their tendency to have public broadcasting[2]. However, concern exists that public broadcasting can crowd out potential private broadcasting. One study compared classical and jazz music programming provided by private radio to that provided by public radio. It found that in large markets, public broadcasting appears to displace private entry [3]. Additionally, publicly funded broadcasting does not necessarily mean that the optimal level will be produced. A government failure can arise in which the cost of public funding exceeds its benefits[4]

In the United States, public broadcasting amounts to a coalition effort. On average, professionally staffed stations receive substantial sums, between 26 percent and 16 percent, from four major sources: audience members ("subscribers" or "members"), the federal government, state governments, and businesses ("underwriters").[5] Individual stations and programs carried on them rely on highly varied proportions of funding. Program-by-program funding creates the potential for conflict-of-interest situations, which must be weighed program by program under standards such as the guidelines established by PBS.[6] Donations are widely dispersed to stations and producers, giving the system a resilience and broad base of support but diffusing authority and impeding decisive change and priority-setting.[7]

The American structure also diffuses responsibility. A minority of viewers and listeners makes donations, creating a "free-rider" situation for most of the audience, though this is the nature of philanthropy. But with no single supporter, such as a parliament, taking responsibility for adequacy of service, the American public broadcasting system is weak in comparison with those of other countries.

Implementation of public broadcasting around the world

The model, established in the 1920s, of the British Broadcasting Corporation – an organization widely trusted, even by citizens of the Axis Powers during World War II – was widely emulated throughout Europe, the British Empire, and later the Commonwealth. The public broadcasters in a number of countries are basically an application of the model used in Britain.

Modern public broadcasting is often a mixed commercial model. For example, the CBC has always relied on a subsidy from general revenues of the government, in addition to advertising revenue, to support its television service. This means they must compete with commercial broadcasting. Some argue that this dilutes their mandate as truly public broadcasters, who have no commercial bias to distort their presentation.

The rest of this section looks at some specific implementations of public broadcasting around the world.

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Asia

India

In India, Prasar Bharati is India's public broadcaster. It is an autonomous corporation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and comprises the Doordarshan television network and All India Radio. Prasar Bharati was established on November 23, 1997 following a demand that the government owned broadcasters in India should be given autonomy like those in many other countries. The Parliament of India passed an Act to grant this autonomy in 1990, but it was not enacted until September 15, 1997.

NEPAL

Introduction: History of broadcasting in Nepal begins from 1951 with the introduction of Nepal Radio. The signatory name of this media was changed to Radio Nepal in a later stage. Radio Nepal since its establishment has been considered as a government mouth piece. It also held a monopoly in the broadcast industry in the century till 1985 when Nepal Television was introduced. Around the same time, a change in the organisational structure in Radio Nepal occurred. This very structure converted Radio Nepal from government-funded into a self sustaining board; the only public service broadcasting in the country. The Function of Radio Nepal as a public broadcasting service was since then under the government control. Prior to 1990, the Nepalese media were largely influenced by the state philosophy known as Panchayat, which in many ways restricted international media from operating and polluting domestic life. After 1990, liberalisation of the media began with opening of the political system. In many areas things began to change. Tight censorship of the media was lifted and democratisation of the polity began with borrowed ideas from western liberal philosophy namely three ‘isations’ – “privatisation”, “liberalisation” and “globalisation”. Many private individuals entered into media profession to make profit, to serve party interests or simply to try new skill or ‘luck’. The market interests of big houses in this new sector were clearly visible including those from the international corporate investors. Large investments began to pour in giving rise to new choices to media consumers. Today there are a large number of radio stations in certain municipalities of the country mainly with F.M. bands, around a dozen of TV channels, cable networks and many national dailies and weeklies. At the local level hundreds of vernacular dailies are published. With the rise in number of media instruments, several associations and civil institutions have sprung up to represent the interests of the media people.

Mainstream PSB in Nepal

Radio Nepal and Nepal Television are considered to be the mainstream media outlets in Nepal that are regarded as Public Service Broadcasting. 80% coverage by Radio Nepal in the entire nation has made it people’s voice in its essence jingle. But, due to the governmental intervention, political as well as economic from the capitalist market, it has lost the trust of the majority of public where private radio stations are in range. Radio Nepal has 14 F.M. bands throughout the nation and is currently competing with the private F.M. broadcaster. On the other hand, Nepal Television is competing against private satellite and terrestrial channels all being important in the capital. With introduction of its second channel ‘NTV Metro’, NTV serves to its best to fully satisfy the taste of the larger public. But due to its organisational structure where the general manager is a political nomination faces several governmental and political hurdles as well as intervention. Overall, people do not completely rely on the NTV’s news as its news headlines contain bias and unfair stories being distorted due to outer intervention. Except the news story related programs, NTV has structured its program as a Trinity of information, education and entertainment. Though other commercial channels also follow such trinity highway in the program structure, NTV has moved a bit further in this highway by informing or educating the public on the issues such as agriculture, social welfare, family planning, sanitation, child rights as well as human right.

Pakistan

In Pakistan, the public broadcaster is the state owned PBC which is short for "Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation." It consists of PTV (Pakistan Television) and Radio Pakistan. In the past PBC was funded publicly through money obtained from television, radio and VCR licensing. Pakistan entered into Television Broadcasting age with a small pilot TV Station established at Lahore from where transmission was first beamed in Black & White with effect from 26 November 1964. Television centres were established in Dhaka, Karachi and Rawalpindi/Islamabad in 1967 and in Peshawar and Quetta in 1974. PTV has various channels trasmitting throughout the world including PTV National, PTV World, PTV 2, PTV Global, PTV Bolan etc. Radio Pakistan has stations covering all the major cities, it covers 80% of the country serving 95.5 Million listeners. It has world service in 07 languages daily.

Hong Kong (China)

In Hong Kong, the Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) is the sole public service broadcaster. Although a government department under administrative hierarchy, it enjoys editorial independence. It operates seven radio channels, and produces television programmes and broadcast on commercial television channels, as these channels are required by law to provide time slot for RTHK television programmes.

RTHK would be assigned a digital terrestrial television channel within 2013 to 2015, when the new broadcasting building is completed in Tseung Kwan O.

Japan

In Japan, the main public broadcaster is the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), sometimes informally referred to as Radio Tokyo by English speakers. The broadcaster was set up in 1926 and was modelled on the British Broadcasting Company, the precursor to the British Broadcasting Corporation created in 1927. Much like the BBC, NHK is funded by a "receiving fee" by every Japanese household, with no commercial advertising and the maintenance of a position of strict political impartiality. NHK runs two national terrestrial TV stations (NHK General and NHK Educational) and three satellite only services (NHK BS-1, BS-2 and the hi-definition NHK Hi-Vision services). NHK also runs 3 national radio services and a number of international radio and television services, akin to the BBC World Service. NHK has also been an innovator in television, developing the world's first high definition television technology in 1964 and launching high definition services in Japan in 1981.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, the public broadcaster is the state owned RTM which is short for "Radio Televisyen Malaysia" (Malaysian Radio and Television). RTM was previously funded publicly through money obtained from television licensing, however it is currently state subsidised as television licences have been abolished.

At present, RTM operates 8 national, 16 state and 7 district radio stations as well as 2 national terrestrial television channels called TV1 and TV2. RTM has also done test transmissions on a new digital television channel called RTMi. Tests involving 2000 residential homes in the Klang Valley began in September 2006 and ended in March 2007.

Europe

In most countries in Europe, state broadcasters are funded through a mix of advertising and public money, either through a licence fee or directly from the government.

Croatia

Croatian Radiotelevision (Croatian: Hrvatska radiotelevizija, HRT) is a Croatian public broadcasting company. It operates several radio and television channels, over a domestic transmitter network as well as satellite. As of 2002, 70% of HRT's funding comes from broadcast user fees with each house in Croatia required to pay 79 HRK, kuna, per month for a single television), with the remainder being made up from advertising[8].

Estonia

ERR (Estonian Public Broadcasting) organizes the public radio and television stations of Estonia. ETV (Estonian Television), the public television station, made its first broadcast in 1955, during the Soviet Occupation, and together with its sister channel ETV2 has ca. 20% audience share.

Germany

Following World War II, when regional broadcasters had been merged into one national network by the Nazis to create a powerful means of propaganda, the Allies insisted on a de-centralized, independent structure for German public broadcasting and created regional public broadcasting agencies that, by and large, still exist today. In addition to these nine regional radio and TV broadcasters, which cooperate within ARD, a second national television service—actually called Second German Television (German: Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF)—was later created in 1961 and a national radio service with two networks (Deutschlandradio) emerged from the remains of Cold War propaganda stations in 1994. All services are mainly financed through license fees paid by everybody who keeps a radio, TV set, PC or mobile phone with internet access "ready for use", and are governed by councils of representatives of the "societally relevant groups". Public TV and radio stations spend about 60 % of the ~10 Bil. € spent altogether for broadcasting in Germany per year.

Ireland

In Ireland a system of TV licencing and advertising to fund public services operates. RTÉ the incumbent offers a range of free to air services on TV and Radio. The Sound and Vision Fund is operated by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, this fund receives 5% of the licence fee. The fund is used to assist broadcasters to commission public service broadcast programming. It is open to all independent producers provided they get a free to air or community broadcaster's backing, including TV3, Today FM, BBC Northern Ireland, RTÉ, Channel 4, UTV etc. An off-shot of RTÉ, TG4 is an independent Irish language broadcaster that is funded by the government through subsidy, and through advertising revenue.

Italy

Italian national broadcasting company is the RAI - Radiotelevisione Italiana, born as URI in 1924. RAI transmits on analogical television on three channels, named Rai Uno, Rai Due and Rai Tre, but also works via satellite, in radiophonic sector, book and cinema. It is considered the biggest and one of the most authoritative television companies in Europe. With 45% of share, RAI also is the most viewed public television of the continent. Proceeds derive from a periodical standing charge and from advertising. The main competitors of RAI are Mediaset, the biggest national private television, divided in three channels, and La7, owned by Telecom Italia.

Montenegro

RTCG (Radio Television of Montenegro) is the public broadcaster in Montenegro.

Netherlands

In the Netherlands a different system is used to most other countries. Public-broadcasting associations are allocated money and time to broadcast their programmes on the publicly owned television and radio channels. The time and money is allocated in proportion to their membership numbers. The system is intended to reflect the diversity of all the groups composing the nation.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a strong tradition of public service broadcasting. In addition to the BBC, established in 1922, there is also Channel 4, a state-owned commercial public service broadcaster, and S4C, a Welsh language broadcaster in Wales. Furthermore, the two commercial analogue broadcasters ITV and Five also have significant public service obligations imposed as part of their licence to broadcast.

Scandinavia

National public broadcasters in the Scandinavian countries were modelled after the BBC and established the same decade: Radioordningen (now DR) in Denmark, Kringkastingselskapet (now NRK) in Norway, and Radiotjänst (now Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Television) in Sweden (all in 1925), and YLE in Finland in 1926. All four are funded from television licence fees costing (in 2007) around 230 (US$300) per household per year.

Spain

In Spain, being a highly decentralized country, two public broadcasting systems coexist: a national broadcasting television, Radio y Televisión Española (RTVE), that can be watched all around Spain, and many autonomic TV channels, only broadcasted within their respective Autonomous Community. Televisión Española, founded in 1937 and modelled after the BBC, broadcasts two different TV-channels: TVE1 (a.k.a La Primera or La uno), that is a wide-range audience general channel; and TVE2, (a.k.a La dos), that tends to offer cultural programation, as well as sport competitions. Till 2008, RTVE was founded both with public funding and with private advertising; however, the Spanish government has recently decreed that starting in September 2009, RTVE's channels shall be founded with taxpayer's money and with private founding raised from the rest of Spain's private TV stations, thus removing advertising from the broadcaster. A TV licence fee has been suggested, but with little popular success.

Moreover, each of the autonomous communities of Spain have their own public broadcaster, usually consisting in either one or two public channels that tend to reproduce the model set up by Televisión Española: a general channel and a more cultural related one. In the Autonomous Communities that have their own official language besides Spanish, those channels may broadcast not in Spanish, but in the other co-official language. For example, this occurs in Catalonia, where Televisió de Catalunya broadcasts mainly in catalan. In the Basque Country, Euskal Telebista has three channels, two of which broadcast only in basque (ETB 1 and ETB 3), whereas the other (ETB 2) broadcasts in Spanish. In Galicia, the Television de Galicia and the G2. All the autonomic networks are publicly founded, and also admit private advertising.

North and South America

Argentina

Despite a moderate state presence in television media since the 1970s, it never had a strong history of European style public service radio or television. The private sector has taken the leading role in the development of television networks. In opposition, state broadcasters tend to be either very weak and under-funded (as the Argentinian Canal 7, formerly known as ATC

Canada

In Canada, the main public broadcaster is the national Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (the CBC), which operates two television networks (CBC Television and Télévision de Radio-Canada), four radio networks (CBC Radio One, CBC Radio Two, Première Chaîne and Espace musique) and two 24-hour news channels (CBC Newsworld and RDI) in both of Canada's official languages. CBC's television operations are funded in part by advertisements, in addition to tax dollars from the federal government (Newsworld and RDI are funded entirely by commercials). CBC's radio operations are commercial-free. In recent years, the CBC was frequently battered by budget cuts and labour disputes.

In addition, several provinces operate public broadcasters; these are not CBC subentities, but distinct networks in their own right. These include the English-language TVOntario and the French-language TFO in Ontario, Télé-Québec in Quebec, SCN in Saskatchewan, public radio station CKUA in Alberta, and Knowledge in British Columbia. Some of the provincial broadcasters operate through conventional transmitters, while others are cable-only channels.

Alberta also has a semi-public television network, Access, which is licensed to provide some public service programming but is owned and operated by a commercial broadcaster. The network, formerly a public broadcaster operated by the provincial government, was sold to CHUM Limited in 1995. CJRT-FM in Toronto also operated as a public government-owned radio station for many years; while no longer funded by the provincial government, it still solicits most of its budget from listener and corporate donations and is permitted to air only a very small amount of commercial advertising. One television station, CFTU in Montreal, operates as an educational station owned by the Université de Montréal. Some other universities have dedicated cable channels to broadcast educational programming, but no other university in Canada operates a conventional broadcast television station.

Some local community stations also operate non-commercially with funding from corporate and individual donors. In addition, cable companies are required to produce a local community channel in each licensed market. Such channels have traditionally aired community talk shows, city council meetings and other locally oriented programming, although it is becoming increasingly common for them to adopt the format and branding of a local news channel.

Canada also has a large number of campus radio and community radio stations.

Chile

The closest model to the British BBC is that of Chile's Televisión Nacional, an open channel which serves the entire country (including Easter Island and Antarctica bases). Televisión Nacional, popularly known as channel 7 because of its Santiago frequency, is governed by a seven-member board appointed by the Chilean Senate. It is meant to be independent of political pressures, although accusations of bias have been made, especially during election campaigns.

United States

The Gregory Hall on the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted an important meeting of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters in the 1940s that spawned both PBS and NPR.

Public broadcasting in the United States is as old as broadcasting itself. Most early public stations were operated by state colleges and universities, and were often run as part of the schools' cooperative extension services. Stations in this era were internally funded, and did not rely on listener contributions to operate; some accepted advertising. Networks such as Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin Public Radio began in this way.

The concept of a "non-commercial, educational" station per se does not show up in U.S. law until the 1940s, when the FM band was moved to its present location; the part of the band between 88.1 and 91.9 MHz is reserved for such stations, though they are not limited to those frequencies. For example, WBAA-West Lafayette, Ind. has its FM frequency at 101.3 MHz. Houston's KUHT was the nation's first public television station, and signed on the air in 25 May 1953 from the campus of the University of Houston.[9] This phenomenon continued in other big cities in the 1950s; in rural areas, it was not uncommon for colleges to operate commercial stations instead (e.g., the University of Missouri's KOMU-TV, an NBC affiliate).

In the United States, public broadcasting is decentralized and is not government operated, but does receive some government support. The majority of funding comes from community support to hundreds of public radio and public television stations, each of which is an individual entity licensed to one of several different non-profit organizations, municipal or state governments, or universities. Sources of funding also include on-air fund drives (see below) and - on public radio stations - the sale of underwriting "spots" (typically 15–30 seconds) to sponsors. Public radio and television organizations often produce their own programs, but purchase or receive most of their programming from national producers and program distributors such as National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Public Radio International (PRI), American Public Television (APT), and American Public Media. U.S. Federal government support for public radio and television is filtered through a separate organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

Television

In the United States the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (formerly National Educational Television) television network operates on a largely viewer-supported basis (see telethon), with commercial sponsors of specific programs. Over time, sponsorship announcements ("underwriting") have slowly transformed into something resembling regular (commercial) TV advertisements, though they are usually shorter and have a more muted tone than what normally appears on commercial and cable TV, and many organizations still only receive a short thanks for their contributions. Underwriting may only issue declarative statements (including slogans) and may not include "calls to action". Most communities also have public access services on local cable television stations, which are sometimes supported in part through donations.

US public broadcasting for television has, from the late 1960s onward, dealt with severe criticism from conservative politicians and think-tanks, which allege that its programming has a leftist bias.

As European public broadcasting systems tend to dominate their national marketplaces, radio and television broadcasting in the US was incubated (in the first half of the 20th century), and eventually dominated, mainly through the private sector, with a heavy emphasis on program sponsorships being sold to businesses attempting to promote their products and services to a mass audience; in many cases (especially in US broadcasting's earliest decades) these sponsors had near-total control over the content they paid for, resulting in most programs, such as situation comedies, soap operas and popular sporting events, only being geared to the perceived tastes and attitudes of the widest possible audience. Therefore, US public broadcasting is, and has always been, a niche service that provides programming considered less attractive to corporate advertisers, and as a result, not found elsewhere on the system; this includes cultural and educational programs, documentaries, public affairs and political affairs shows.

Radio

A public radio network, National Public Radio (NPR), was created in 1970, following the passage of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 which established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This network (generally exclusive of Pacifica Radio, described below) is colloquially though inaccurately referred to as Public Radio. Independent local public radio stations buy their programming from distributors such as NPR; Public Radio International (PRI); American Public Media (APM); The Public Radio Exchange (PRX); and Pacifica, most often distributed through the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS). Around these distributed programs, stations fill varying amounts of local programming.

Public radio stations in the U.S. tend to broadcast a mixture of news and talk radio programming along with some music. Some of the larger operations split off these formats into separate stations or networks. Public music stations are probably best known for playing classical music, although other formats have been used, including the time-honored "eclectic" music format that is rather freeform in nature common among college radio stations; jazz is another public radio programming staple, dominating the airwaves in the major markets L.A. and New Jersey, KKJZ 88.1 FM and WBGO 88.3 FM. Also, XM Satellite Radio provides a station of public radio programs licensed from all three content providers.

Local stations derive most of the funding for their operations through regular pledge drives and corporate sponsorship (euphemistically termed "underwriting" on-air). They also derive significant combined public funding from federal, state and local governments and government-funded colleges / universities (in addition to receiving use of the radio spectrum for free).[10][11] The local stations then contract with program distributors and also provide some programming themselves. NPR produces some of its own programming such as Morning Edition; Weekend Edition; and All Things Considered. PBS, by contrast, does not create its own content. NPR also receives some direct funding from private donors, foundations, and from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Some other public networks, such as Pacifica Radio, are almost entirely member-funded and do not receive significant sponsorship from corporations or governmental sources; Pacifica Radio is known for a general body of programming of (what is considered) a mainly leftist social and political viewpoint, with many programs, especially news and public affairs shows, critical and/or challenging of trends and issues in mainstream government, society and corporations.

Venezuela

Recently, under the initiative of the Venezuelan government of president Hugo Chávez, and with the sponsorship of the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua, the news and documentary network teleSUR was created with the intended to be an instrument toward the "concretizing of the Bolivarian idea" through the integration of America, and as a counterweight to what the governments that funds it consider a "distorted view of Latin American reality by privately run networks that broadcast to the region".[12] There is an ongoing debate on whether teleSUR will be able become a neutral and fair news channel able to counter the huge influence of global media outlets, or whether it will end up as a propaganda tool of the Venezuelan government, which owns a 51 percent share of said channel. [1]

Oceania

Australia

In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is funded entirely through an Australian Government grant-in-aid. The multicultural Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), another public broadcaster, now accepts limited sponsorship and advertising. Imparja is an Aboriginal community broadcaster in Australia that receives funding from the Federal Government. Most of its programs are bought from Australia's commercial broadcasters, and it only airs a small amount of local content.

In addition, there is a large Australian community broadcasting sector, funded in part by Federal grants via the Community Broadcasting Foundation, but largely sustained via subscriptions, donations and business sponsorship. As of June 2005, there were 442 fully-licensed community radio stations (including remote Indigenous services) and a number of community television stations (most operating as Channel 31 despite being unrelated across different states). They are organised similarly to PBS and NPR stations in the US, and take on the role that public access stations have in the US.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, the former public broadcaster BCNZ (formerly NZBC) was broken up into separate state-owned corporations, Television New Zealand (TVNZ) and Radio New Zealand (RNZ). While RNZ remains commercial-free, about 90% of funding for TVNZ comes from selling advertising during programmes on their two stations. TVNZ continues to be a public broadcaster; however like CBC Television in Canada it is essentially a fully commercial network in continuous ratings battles with other stations.

Programmes offered on TVNZ include popular US-produced shows like Desperate Housewives, ER, Lost, Cold Case, and Dancing with the Stars. TVNZ operates five stations: TV ONE, TV2, TVNZ 6, TVNZ 7 and TVNZ Sport Extra and hold majority ratings in the country. Because of its high ratings some of the most expensive advertising slots in the country are on TV ONE and TV2. TVNZ 6 and 7 are fully-funded and advertisement-free.

The Government owns a network of reserved channels for non-commercial regional access broadcasting, and some of them have been awarded to local community trusts to provide public service and access television. Examples are Triangle TV in Auckland and Wellington; and Channel 7 in Taranaki.

List of public broadcasters

American

Argentinian

Brazilian

Canadian

Chilean

Colombian

Costa Rican

Cuba

Ecuadorian

United States

Venezuelan

Many American countries

  • teleSUR — Reaches the entire continent, Europe and Northern Africa. Owned by La Nueva Televisora del Sur, a public company sponsored by several American countries.

African and Middle Eastern

Asian

Taiwan

  • Taiwan Broadcasting System (台灣公共廣播電視集團|TBS)
  • Radio Taiwan International(中央廣播電台|RTI)
  • National Education Radio(國立教育廣播電臺|NER)
  • Police Radio Station(警察廣播電台|PRS)
  • Taipei Broadcasting Station(台北廣播電台|TBS)
  • Kaohsiung Broadcasting Station(高雄廣播電台|KBS)

Hong Kong(China) SAR

Macau(China) SAR

Oceanian

Australia

East Timor

New Zealand

European

See also

References

  1. ^ Anderson & Coate. Market Provision of Public Goods: The Case of Broadcasting. National Bureau of Economic Research. January 2000.
  2. ^ Anderson & Coate. Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis. Review of Economic Studies. October 2005.
  3. ^ Berry & Waldfogel. Public radio in the United States: does it correct market failure or cannibalize commercial stations? Journal of Public Economics. February 1999.
  4. ^ Brown. Economics, Public Service Broadcasting, and Social Values. The Journal of Media Economics.
  5. ^ Annual revenues of public broadcasting as compiled by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The sums include more than 1,000 stations but do not cover many of the volunteer-operated, low-power and school-owned stations.
  6. ^ Guidelines for programs distributed by PBS.
  7. ^ Aufderheide & Clark.Public Broadcasting and Public Affairs. Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. 2008
  8. ^ Funding Arrangements
  9. ^ "About Us: 50 Years of HoustonPBS History". KUHT - HoustonPBS. http://www.houstonpbs.org/site/PageServer?pagename=abt_history. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  10. ^ "NPR Responds". http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/02/npr_responds.asp. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  11. ^ "Annual Reports, Audited Financial Statements, and Form 990s". http://www.npr.org/about/privatesupport.html. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  12. ^ "Latin leader rebels against US-centric news" – Christian Science Monitor (Retrieved on January 8, 2009)

External links


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