Multimedia development of PSBs: A challenge for the Nordic Media Systems
Public Service Broadcasting has been a distinct feature of the media systems in the Nordic countries. In the perspective of media policy the Nordic countries have shared common features such as universality regarding content and reach independence from government, funding by licence fee and no advertising. A press run in accordance with free market principles has been an equally important feature, making the systems highly mixed regarding governance and control. The last decades the PSBs have faced competition from an increasing number of purely commercial broadcasters as well as hybrid PSBs. Even more recently the PSBs are facing challenges from multimedia technologies and markets. Are these new challenges and opportunities changing media policy and the PSBs position in the media systems? Or is new technology being shaped to fit traditional public service ideas? The results from this analysis indicate that the PSBs to some extent have flirted with the commercial aspects of new multimedia technologies, but partly these experiments have been called off by widening the concept of PSBs to public service media, and partly the financial payoffs have been miniscule and also have produced heavy criticism. What has come out of these processes seems to be a confirmation of the basic values of the public service mission.