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2008 | 1 | 1 | 21 - 53

Article title



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Role of public service media in the political and cultural life of the society

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The concept of “public-service”, particularly as an attribute epitomizing the essence of transformation of the former state radio and television in new social and political conditions after November 1989 still arouses controversial interpretations and discussions in expert public. The above concept has been adopted from German legal terminology and denotes particularly an organizational and legal form rather than the content of public-service broadcasting, which is best described by this English term meaning “service to public”. Thus, such broadcasting is non-state, or state-independent, focused on the needs and interests of the general public and is accountable both to the institutional structures of a civic society and to individual viewers and listeners. The development of public-service broadcasting has been significantly influenced by the emergence of the dual system of radio and television broadcasting, i.e., by the coexistence of public-service and private radio and television. The development of the dual system of broadcasting has been closely connected with the decrease in the market share of public-service radio and television stations both in the old and the new EU member states. Due to the rapid advancement of commercial broadcasting, public-service media have been forced to vigorously defend their legitimacy and search for a new identity in the qualitatively different conditions of economic competition. The issue of financing of public-service media in the context of development of dual broadcasting system is being discussed both abroad and at home. Despite that, to date, Slovakia has been unable to implement a systematic solution capable of granting a stable, long-term financial framework that would provide for the functions of public service. Coexistence of public and commercial sectors cannot result in a type of broadcasting where everything is subordinated to the laws of market and dictate of advertising. Europe has the right to expect from radio and television their active contribution to its further development and building of its identity while relying on the essential principles of tolerance, pluralism of opinions, freedom of expression, critical spirit and humanism. This is also why it can be stated with some degree of confidence that the values of public-service broadcasting have been gaining ever greater support of the civic society in Slovakia.



  • Ministerstvo kultúry SR, Námestie SNP 33, 813 31 Bratislava, Slovak Republic


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Publication order reference


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